Trinity Women's Squash Sweeps Late Matches To Down Penn In Howe Cup Semifinals

Sachika Balvani '16 won, 3-2, in the No. 7 match
Sachika Balvani '16 won, 3-2, in the No. 7 match

Princeton, N.J. – The Trinity College Bantams won at the top-five positions in the lineup and swept the third wave to take a 6-3 victory over the University of Pennsylvania Quakers in the College Squash Association (CSA) National Team Championship (Howe Cup) Semifinals this afternoon at Princeton University’s Jadwin Courts.  No. 2-seeded Trinity improves to 15-1 with its fourth win in a row and will face the top-seeded Harvard University Crimson in the finals tomorrow at 1 p.m.  Trinity had beaten Penn in the regular season meeting between the teams, 6-3, in Hartford.  Harvard defeated No. 4-seeded Yale, 6-3, in the other semifinal match at Princeton today.  Harvard edged Trinity in the 2012-13 Howe Cup Finals, 5-4, at Yale, and won at Trinity by the same score 18 days ago. 

The teams split the first six matches, as Trinity received a 3-0 victory at the No. 3 spot by senior Wee Nee Low (Penang, Malaysia) in the first wave and a 3-1 victory by senior co-captain Catalina Pelaez (Bogota, Colombia) at the No. 2 spot before junior Ashley Tidman (Lamor-Palge, France) recovered from losses in the third and fourth and fell behind, 6-1, in the fifth before winning, 11-9, against Penn rookie Michelle Wong (Sarawak, Malaysia) in the No. 5 match.

Trinity took a 4-3 lead on a 3-0 triumph by rookie Anna Kimberley (Essex, England) at No. 4 and sophomore Kanzy El Defrawy (Cairo, Egypt) avenged a regular-season loss to Quaker freshman Anaka Alankamony (Chennai, India) with a 3-1 win to clinch the decision for the Bantams.  Trinity sophomore Sachika Balvani (Mumbai, India) outlasted Penn sophomore Carey Celata (Philadelphia, Pa.) in the No. 7 match, 3-2, to round out the scoring.

“Today’s match was very close, but we have great confidence in our players at the end, and they were all strong for us today,” said Trinity Head Coach Wendy Bartlett.  “Penn’s lineup was different than the first time, and that may have thrown us off at first.  Ashley Tidman’s win really changed the momentum for us.”

1. TC- Kanzy El Defrawy d. Anaka Alankamony, 11-5, 7-11, 11-9, 11-3
2. TC- Catalina Pelaez d. Yan Xin Tan, 12-10, 6-11, 11-4, 11-7
3. TC- Wee Nee Low d. Haidi Lala, 12-10, 11-9, 11-4
4. TC- Anna Kimberley d. Courtney Jones, 11-4, 11-9, 11-5
5. TC- Ashley Tidman d. Michelle Wong, 11-4, 11-8, 5-11, 10-12, 11-9
6. P- Camille Lanier d. Natalie Babjukova, 11-9, 11-6, 11-4
7. TC- Sachika Balvani d. Carey Celata, 11-5, 9-11, 11-7, 7-11, 11-3
8. P- Chloe Blacker d. Jennifer Pelletier, 7-11, 11-3, 9-11, 12-10, 11-7
9. P- Ailsa Agnew d. Chanel Erasmus, 11-4, 8-11, 11-9, 11-7
Trinity (Conn.) 6, Pennsylvania 3