Boston, MA — George Washington (C Division) and Smith (D Division) won their division titles at the 2012 Women’s National Team Championships.
Walker Cup (C Division): Wesleyan opened the tournament, playing in the first round of matches on the first day. The Cardinals also closed out the tournament, playing in the final set of matches on the final day. Both Wesleyan and their opponent in the Walker Cup finals, George Washington, had to upset higher seeded teams to make it to the last match.
When the day ended, it was George Washington, not Wesleyan, who was still standing. The Colonials’ 7-2 win over the Cardinals capped a day filled with exciting matches. The first three matches on court all went past three games. Rebecca Imrich (#9) and Tiffany Hingley (#6) both won in four for GW. The #3 match was an all-Lauren showdown: GW senior Lauren Mathieu and Wesleyan first-year Lauren Nelson. Mathieu won in five — 11-3, 11-13, 11-5, 12-14, 11-6 — giving the Colonials an early 3-0 lead.
In the second set of the matches, Kar-Anne Tan (#8) gave the Cardinals their first win of the match. However, GW clinched early thanks to three-game wins from Kelly Barnes (#2) and Caroline Shumway (#5). Even though the overall match had been decided, the matches in the last flight were competitive. Jackie Shea’s (#1) and Elizabeth Tapley’s (#4) victories brought GW’s total number of wins to seven, and Danielle Craig outlasted Maya Nair in five at #7 to give the Cardinals a second match.
This was GW’s second C Division title in three years; they also won the Walker Cup in 2010.
Epps Cup (D Division): Before the Epps Cup final got underway, Smith senior Clair Oblamski was recognized as the 2012 Wetzel Award winner. The Wetzel Award is given annually to the best senior to have started playing squash in college.
Once play was underway, Smith controlled the top of the ladder, with Jacqueline Zhou (#1), Oblamski (#2), and Jen Krain (#3) all winning in three. Szilvi Kiss gave the Pioneers a fourth win at #9. The Herons answered with four wins in the middle of the order from Courtney Leous (#5), Ginny McDermott (#6), Katherine Riordan (#7), and Sarah Cutts (#8). Leous won in four and the other William Smith players held their winning matches to three games.
The overall score was tied 4-all going into the #4 match between Smith’s Eunice Zhao and William Smith’s Annie Habecker. The day before, Habecker had won in dramatic fashion in the fifth game of her match against St. Lawrence to put the Herons into the final. Though Zhao didn’t have Habecker’s experience in such a situation, she remained composed and focused, opening up a lead in the fourth game to win the match 3-1.
Today’s win marked Smith’s first D Division title in over ten years. The Pioneers also had another reason to celebrate: they had more scholar athletes — 6 — than any other team.
Congratulations to Harvard, the 2012 national team champions and winners of the Howe Cup, and congratulations to the division winners: Brown (Kurtz Cup — B Division), George Washington (Walker Cup — C Division), Smith (Epps Cup — D Division), Colgate (E Division), and New York University (Emerging Teams Division).
Every division saw competitive matches, sporting play, and great team spirit. Congratulations to all who participated in the 2012 Women’s National Team Championships on a great weekend!