Princeton, NJ — The result of the number 1 match at the 2011 Women’s National Team Championships (Howe Cup) final between Yale and Harvard seemed like a foregone conclusion.
Yale senior captain Logan Greer and Harvard sophomore Laura Gemmell, then the undefeated defending individual champion, had faced each other four times in official intercollegiate play. Gemmell had won all four matches 3-0, shutting Greer out 11-0 in the first game when they had played the week before.
Gemmell won the first game of their Howe Cup match 11-7, and it looked like she would roll to another 3-0 win. The match score was close, and the seemingly inevitable win for Gemmell would make it even closer. The crowd’s attention started to shift toward court number 2, where number 5s Rhetta Nadas (Yale) and Natasha Kingshott (Harvard) were battling it out.
Then Greer won game two. And that’s when things got interesting.
She followed up that hard-fought 11-9 victory with an 11-8 win in the third. It looked like she might do the unthinkable: unseat Gemmell and clinch the national team championship for Yale.
Of course, that’s not what happened. Gemmell came back to win in five, and the championship came down to the number 4 contest between Kimberley Hay (Yale) and June Tiong (Harvard). Greer was in the stands cheering with her teammates when Hay secured a 3-1 victory to secure the 2011 national title for the Bulldogs.
Captaining her team to a national championships is only the first of Greer’s many college squash accomplishments. The Bulldogs also won the 2011 Ivy League title, and Greer is a four-time All-American, the only woman this year to have earned the distinction all four years of her college career. She is also a four-time All-Ivy selection, one of only five players unanimously selected this year, and the winner of Yale’s John A. Blum Award, presented to “that member of the team who, through character, dedication, and sportsmanship, has made the greatest contribution to Yale women’s varsity squash.” She played number 1 for the Bulldogs for three seasons, playing number 2 behind national individual champion Miranda Ranieri her first year.
Greer also helped the United States take home the bronze from the 2010 World University Games in Melbourne, Australia. Like many of her Yale teammates, she has volunteered regularly with Squash Haven, and unlike many other squash players, she’s a two-sport athlete, playing on Yale’s varsity lacrosse team. Greer also had an accomplished junior squash career, winning the 2007 Girls U-19 title in 2007 and leading the U.S. Junior Women’s team to an eighth-place finish at the 2007 World Junior Squash Championships.
But all of these awards and accomplishments alone are not what made Greer a deserving Richey Award winner. The Richey Award is given annually to the women’s college squash player who “best exemplifies the ideals of squash in her love of and devotion to the game, her strong sense of fairness, and her excellence of play and leadership.”
The determination, heart, and sportsmanship Greer showed in the match with Gemmell are what set her apart. She clearly wanted to win; she was in tears after she lost. But during the match, even when she was giving her utmost on the court, she acknowledged when Gemmell outplayed her. “Great shot,” she said after several points. Soon after her match ended, Greer joined her teammates to cheer Hay on, her focus back to the team.
Greer is the sixth Yale player in the last seven years to win the Richey Award.
For other photos from the 2011 award ceremony, please visit mtbello.com.