Following a successful conclusion of its Ivy League season, including a win over Cornell (8-6 overall, 3-4 Ivy) that set a program record for wins in Ivy League play, the women’s squash team will travel to Hartford, Conn. this Sunday to face Trinity College (13-2) at the Kellner Squash Center. Princeton (11-2, 5-2) is currently ranked No. 4 in the Howe Cup standings, and the Bantams are ranked No. 3. For both teams, this will be the last match of the season before the Howe Cup, the top division of the women’s national championships; accordingly, this match will be important, determining the third seed of those championships.
The Tigers come into this match riding a four-game winning streak, looking to avenge their loss last year in the Howe Cup. Prior to that loss, Princeton had won its regular season finale against Trinity in an exciting fashion, winning the last match of the day in four games in order to win the overall match 5-4.
The Orange and Black are led by junior Olivia Fiechter in the No. 1 position, who earned First-Team All-America and All-Ivy League honors last year for the second year in a row. Following Fiechter in the lineup is senior Maria Elena Ubina, who earned Second-Team All-America and All-Ivy League honors last year.
Both Fiechter and Ubina will face tough matches from their Trinity opponents. Fiechter will likely match up against Raneem Sharaf, who was a Second-Team All-American last year. Ubina will probably be competing against Anna Kimberley, who was an All-American Honorable Mention last year. Both Sharaf and Kimberley earned First Team All-Conference honors last year as well.
Trinity’s last match was Feb. 8 at Harvard (12-0, 7-0), which it lost 8-1 with a lone match won by sophomore Jennifer Haley. The Crimson remains ranked No. 1 in the College Squash Association’s national rankings, and the Bantams have been able to maintain their place as the No. 3 team in the country.
One advantage that Princeton will bring to this match is its experience. In the Tigers’ most recent match, they had three seniors, Ubina, Alexandra Toth and Gabriella Garr, and only one freshman, Morgan Steelman, in their lineup. Trinity, meanwhile, had only one senior, Kimberley, and three freshmen.
This experience among the Princeton team has added depth to its lineup, adding strength over the course of the season so far. This depth will no doubt be put to the test against the strong Trinity team.
After the match against the Bantams, the Tigers will come home looking forward to the Howe Cup, taking place at the squash courts in Jadwin Gymnasium. Princeton will be looking to win its 18th title this year, having last won in 2009. Harvard has dominated since then, winning five of the last seven years, with Yale and Trinity winning the other two in 2011 and 2014, respectively.