Although the Princeton men’s squash team (8-8, 3-4 Ivy) had a strong season, it wasoverlooked when championship brackets were set at the end of the year. Despite victories over both Franklin and Marshall and Penn, a 5-4 loss to Cornell University at the end of the season and early losses, such as a 5-4 match against Navy, dropped them into the B bracket of the CSA national championships, while F&M and Penn advanced to the A bracket.
In a bracket of 8, the Tigers came into the Hoehn Cup as the number one seed. In the first round, the Tigers decisively defeated Bates 7-2. Upon advancing to the semifinals, the team played and beat Drexel for the second time this season. In the finals, the team faced off against Ivy League rival Dartmouth for the second time. As they had earlier in the season, the Tigers took down Dartmouth 6-3. Despite the fact that it was not the draw that the Tigers wanted to be placed in, senior captain Sam Kang does not believe that should take away from the overall victory for the Tigers. “Even the B bracketwasn’t easy, because Cornell who beat us wasthe two seed in the B bracket. Dartmouth and Drexel were really good teams. So I think that it was a good result for us because we had some wins from guys who were struggling all year or were injured. It was more like a good team win,” Kang said.
On the women’s side, the Tigers (12-3, 5-2 Ivy) showed great resolve all season long. Despite losing in the third and fourth place match at the Howe Cup in two of the past three seasons, seniors Alex Lunt, Nicole Bunyan and Hallie Dewey were determined not to lose this match. After a thrilling 6-3 victory over Yale in the quarterfinals, the team advanced to play Harvard in the semifinals. Having lost 7-2 to the Crimson in the regular season, the Tigers came into the match as the underdogs. The Tigers, however, led 4-2 after the first two shifts of matches. The Tigers could not find the coveted fifth victory they needed in the third shift, however. This put the fourth seeded Tigers in a consolation match against Penn. Princeton had lost to Penn earlier in the season 6-3, but the team was not willing to let this happen again. The Tigers came out and defeated Penn in a thrilling 5-4 match. Team captain Bunyan said about the match, “This year it was a combination of all the threeseniors wanting to win. Having three seniors in the top 9 all wanting to do their best, that’s a third of the lineup. That’s prettycrucial. And then the other teammates really had something toprove as well. After having lost in the 3-4 twice before this, in past nationals, we really wanted to come out andhave a fun bus ride home rather than a sad, depressing bus ride home.”
The Tigers’ successes extended to individual achievements as well. The women’s team sent five players to the CSA Individuals. Freshman Olivia Fiechter and sophomore Maria Elena Ubina were both awarded top five seeds in the tournament. Additionally, Bunyan, Lunt and junior Rachel Leizman joined the underclassmen in the tournament. Fiechter, Ubina and Bunyan all reached the quarterfinals with Fiechter and Bunyan reaching the semis before both losing. These three women won All-Ivy honors with Fiechter named Ivy League Rookie of the Year. On the men’s side, seniors Tyler Osborne and Kang advanced to the CSA Individuals. All-American Kang advanced to the quarterfinals and finished sixth in CSA individual rankings for the season.