New Haven, CT — Dartmouth College defeated Drexel University 5-4 to win the Kurtz Cup and the B Division.
The Kurtz Cup is named for former Dartmouth head coach Aggie Kurtz, and the Big Green had won the division twice before. The last time the Big Green brought the Kurtz Cup back to Hanover, Drexel was playing in the C Division; a year earlier, in 2012, the Dragons were playing in the E Division.
This season, Drexel and Dartmouth played in mid January. Though Dartmouth had the home-court advantage, the Dragons won 5-4.
Coming into the tournament, Dartmouth was the top seed in the division. The Big Green swept the University of Virginia in the opening round, and they beat Williams, 7-2, in the semifinals. Drexel, the number two seed, advanced with a 6-3 win over Middlebury in the quarterfinals and a 5-4 win over Brown in the semis.
The matches in the first wave varied in how close they were. Dartmouth’s Madeline Fraser won 11-1 in the third to win the number 9 match in three. Her teammate Janel Gaube had a tougher go of it, needing four games to win at number 6. The number 3 match was the closest of the round. Drexel’s Mary Fung-A-Fat won the first game, and Dartmouth’s Rebecca Brownell won the second. The two players traded games again before Brownell took the fifth 11-8, giving Dartmough a clean sweep of the first round.
The first games of the number 5 and number 8 matches both went into extra points — and both went to Dartmouth. Carly Rizzuto won games two and three decisively to win 3-0 at number 8. The number 5 match was a different story: it only got more competitive after game one. Drexel’s Elisabeth Money and Dartmouth’s Zainab Molani traded games, until Money won 11-7 in the fifth. With Money’s and Rizzuto’s victories, the match score was now Dartmouth 4, Drexel 1.
Ryan Morgan won in four at number 2 for the Dragons, holding Dartmouth off as long as possible. Drexel would now need to win the last three matches on court.
They got close, thanks to a four-game win from Fiona Power at number 4 and Hayley Hughes’ 13-11 win in the third at number 1. But Emma Roberts’ three game win at number 7 gave Dartmouth the final point they needed.
The final score was Dartmouth 5, Drexel 4.
This win marked Dartmouth’s third B Division title and their first Kurtz Cup championship since 2013.