New Haven, CT — This morning’s action featured two 5-4 matches and an upset victory that sent a team into division finals.
A Division (Howe Cup): The first A Division matches are scheduled to begin this afternoon.
B Division (Kurtz Cup): The first B Division matches are scheduled to begin this afternoon.
C Division (Walker Cup): Day 2 C Division action got underway with the consolation semifinal match between Colby and Connecticut College. The two teams had already played twice before this season, with Colby taking both matches by a decisive margin. That was the case again today, as the Mules posted another 8-1 win over the Camels.
D Division (Epps Cup): Match of the morning honors goes to William Smith-St. Lawrence. The Saints opened their season with a 5-4 win over the Herons back in November. By January, William Smith had closed the gap and won a rematch 5-4. Today’s match was close from the get-go, with several matches going past three games. By the time the last two matches were on court, William Smith was ahead 4-3. At number 4, William Smith senior Anne Habecker ran up a lead in games, but St. Lawrence first-year player Sarah Neilson battled back to force a fifth game. It looked like Neilson had the momentum going into the fifth, but don’t bet against Habecker: last year she won in five with the match tied 4-4 — against St. Lawrence — to send her team to the D Division finals. Once again, Habecker came through when her team needed it most, outlasting Neilson to give William Smith another shot at the Epps Cup, which eluded them last year. The final match score was 6-3 to William Smith. The Herons will play Virginia in the Epps Cup final. The Cavaliers played division top-seeds Boston College in the other semifinal. The two teams had not played each other yet this season, but some of the players already knew each other. Each team had a Whelan sister: senior Kelly plays number 1 for Virginia, and first-year Caroline plays number 3 for BC. Both Whelans won their matches, but Virginia took the team match 6-3, securing a berth in the Epps Cup final.
E Division: The first E Division match of the day was a barn-burner. Cal took an early lead over Rochester, posting wins at numbers 6 and 9. The Yellowjackets got on the board with a win at 3. Cal took two more matches in the second flight, winning at 2 and 5, but Rochester stayed in the game with a win at 8. Rochester started to surge in the final flight, taking the number 4 and 7. Coming into the final flight, Cal needed one match to win, and despite Rochester’s best efforts, they got it, thanks to Nicola Bradshaw’s 3-0 win over Lexa Mackie at number 1. Cal will face Tufts tonight for a post in the division finals. Rochester will face either Smith or NYU tomorrow.
Emerging Teams Division: It was St. Louis versus South Bend in a battle of Midwestern schools as Washington University took on Notre Dame. Originally scheduled for yesterday, the match was moved to this morning due to travel delays. Wash U took advantage of the extra time and swept the Fighting Irish, 5-0.