Princeton, NJ — The 2014 Women’s College Squash Association National Team Championships had great team and individual performances. In this special edition of the Harrow Sports College Squash Player of the Week, we recognize a player from each division of the tournament.
Howe Cup (A Division) – Catalina Pelaez (Trinity College): Pelaez, the senior co-captain, helped the Bantams earn their third National Team Championships. In the tournament, she went undefeated at the #2 position. She defeated Stanford’s Serena Fagan (11-3, 11-6, and 11-3), Penn’s Yan Xin Tan (12-10, 6-11, 11-4, and 11-7), and Harvard’s Haley Mendez (11-5, 4-11,1 1-8, and 11-4). Pelaez was also awarded the 2014 Richey Award. On the season, Pelaez was a perfect 12-0 in team play.
Kurtz Cup (B Division) – Jacqueline Shea (George Washington): Shea, the senior tri-captain, came through in the clutch for the Colonials. In the semifinal match with higher-seeded Brown, the team match was tied at 4-4. Shea defeated Brown’s #4, Emily Richmond, in four games (10-12, 11-4, 11-9, and 11-5) to send George Washington to the Kurtz Cup finals against Columbia. In the final, George Washington was down 2-4, but Shea was part of the comeback, defeating Reyna Pacheco, which helped helped the Colonials secure a 5-4 victory and the Kurtz Cup.
Walker Cup (C Division) – Lena Rice (Amherst College): Rice, the senior co-captain, went undefeated in Walker Cup play. In the opening round, she defeated Colby’s Clea Harrelson and followed that victory up by defeating Bowdoin’s Lila Wright. In the final against Franklin & Marshall, Rice dropped the first game to #9 Dana Rapisarda, but rebounded to take the next three games to capture the individual match (10-12, 11-6, 11-6, and 11-5) and help Amherst earn the Walker Cup, 6-3.
Epps Cup (D Division) – Charlotte Searle (University of Virginia): With the Epps Cup final between Virginia and Boston College tied at 4-4, only the #4 match between Searle and Madeline Bette remained to be played. After being down 1-2, Searle tied the match at 2-2. She took a commanding lead in the final game, 10-3, but Bette chipped away, tying the game at 10-10. Both Virginia and BC players were going through emotional roller coasters as the game progressed. In the end, Searle won the final game (11-7, 9-11, 7-11, 11-6, and 12-10) and the Epps Cup for the Cavaliers.
E Division – Vivian Lee (Smith College): After only returning three players from last season, Smith College built a competitive roster that grew in talent throughout the season. Senior captain Vivian Lee was a huge part of this endeavor. During the tournament, she went 3-0, and helped the inexperienced Pioneers finish 39th in the team rankings. Against Minnesota, she won a five-game match at the #1 position against Andrea Belgrade (8-11, 11-4, 9-11, 11-8, and 11-6). Against Rochester, Lee won a pivotal match in Smith’s 5-4 victory. She battled back from 0-2 down against Amanda Lardizabal to win in five games (7-11, 9-11, 15-13, 11-7, and 11-9).