CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The No. 30 ranked Haverford College women's squash team was edged by a razor thin 5-4 margin at the hands of No. 29 Vassar on Sunday afternoon in the Consolation Final of the College Squash Association Epps Cup. The match, contested at the Zesiger Sports and Fitness Center on the campus of MIT, was the final team match of the season for Haverford. The Fords finish the season at 8-10 while Vassar improves to 15-8 with the victory.
In the first round of matches to complete, Isabelle Gotuaco swept past Jiamin Wu at the third flight with a dominating effort (11-4, 11-0, 11-5). With the victory, Gotuaco ties Rachel Kaplan '99 for the Haverford program record in career victories with 38. Gotuaco has won six straight matches dating back to February 3.
Samantha Henderson evened the score for the Brewers by getting by Olivia Franco with a sweep at the sixth flight (11-6, 11-9, 11-2) and Julia Pollak delivered a win for Vassar at the ninth spot on the ladder, distpatching Belen Madariaga with a victory that took extra points in the third and final game (11-6, 11-1, 13-11).
The second grouping saw Maddie Hager pull of a sweep of Sydney Nemphos at the second flight, reversing a loss to the same opponent when the two squads met in December. Hager swept Nemphos by a final score of 12-10, 11-6, 13-11. Kelly Rissman withstood a challenge from Sophia Jackson at the eighth flight, rallying back after Jackson took games two and three to put her opponent on the brink. The final score of the matchup was 11-1, 7-11, 9-11, 11-3, 12-10.
Tia Brown was similarly locked in a tense battle with Cherylann Mucciolo at the fifth flight. Mucciolo took the first and third games, but Brown tied the match at 3-3 with an impressive five-game triumph (11-9, 5-11, 11-7, 6-11, 9-11).
Heading into the final parings, the Fords and Brewers were suddenly engaged in a best two-of-three scenario.
Kaitlin Reese was dispatched in four games by Hannah Nice at the top flight (11-6, 9-11, 11-5, 11-3) before Grace Fioramonti-Gorchow rallied back for a win over Emma Glickman at the seventh spot. The senior battled in her last collegiate team match, rallying for a 3-1 victory after dropping the first game. Fioramonti-Gorchow notched a 19-17 victory in the second game, with the hard earned game victory setting the tone for the rest of the match.
Sunyoung Chai fought back from a 0-2 deficit to take the third game over Alessandra Pilkington at the fourth flight, but Pilkington emerged with an 11-7, 11-7, 7-11, 11-8 win as Vassar came away with the 5-4 overall victory.
Against largely the same ladder for the Brewers, the Fords were able to turn a 9-0 defeat in early December into just a one-match margin at 5-4. Haverford finishes the season with the No. 30 ranking. The mark is the highest final ranking for the program since the 2008-09 season when the Fords finished 29th.
The Fords will now await the release of parings for the CSA Individual Championships, which will be slated for March 2-4 in Washington, D.C. The championships are hosted by George Washington.