Tag Archives: Princeton squash

Women’s squash looks like a title contender in 5-4 win over Harvard

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Alex Sawin ’14, top, and Nicole Bunyan ’15 notched key wins in Princeton’s 5-4 victory over top-ranked Harvard. (Photos: Courtesy Office of Athletic Communications)
For the second straight year, a third-ranked Princeton squash team beat the nation’s top ranked squad in an Ivy League contest at Jadwin Gymnasium. The women’s match against No. 1 Harvard on Sunday was closer than the men’s victory over then-No. 1 Yale last February, but the result was ultimately the same — a statement that Princeton is a true national title contender. In front of their home fans, the Tigers won nearly every close match to eke out a 5-4 victory, their first against Harvard since Princeton’s 2009 national championship season.
 
Just as in last year’s meeting in Cambridge — which Harvard, the eventual champion, won 5-4 — the match swung on a comeback at the No. 4 position. Last year, Lexi Saunders ’14 had two match points in the third game before ultimately losing in five; this year, Rachel Leizman ’16 fought off one match ball at 10-9 in the fifth game (on a referee’s decision that was disputed by the Harvard fans) and came back to win 12-10.
 
Leizman’s victory only gave the hosts a 4-3 lead, however, and the score was quickly evened when Amanda Sobhy, one of the world’s top 20 players, dispatched Julie Cerullo ’13 at No. 1. That left the match in the hands of Alex Sawin ’14, who took a 2-1 lead and then won a marathon fourth set, 16-14, to seal Princeton’s upset.
 
“There are always some matches that can go either way, and today they went in our favor,” said Nicole Bunyan ’15. “It was so much fun to watch.”
 
The Tigers don’t really have the typical look of a title contender; they rely less on senior leadership and more on youthful energy. Cerullo, a three-time All-America, is a veteran presence at the top of Princeton’s lineup, but she was the only senior in the team’s starting nine on Sunday.
 
Instead, the Tigers are built on players like Libby Eyre ’14 — who, despite a history of injuries, dove for at least a dozen attempted shots and left the court with bloody knees and knuckles after a four-game loss at No. 2 — and Bunyan, who beat Harvard’s Haley Mendez at No. 3. A British Columbia native who rose all the way from No. 8 to No. 2 in the lineup as a rookie last season, Bunyan relies on fitness and athleticism to grind down opponents such as Mendez, who struggled after a long second game.
 
Cerullo called Bunyan the team’s most “carefree” player, adding, “I don’t think I’ve ever seen her stress out before, and that’s not easy to do at Princeton.” That came in handy on Sunday, when Bunyan blew a 9-5 lead in the first game by losing six straight points; unfazed, the sophomore recovered to win the next three games and the match. “Sometimes I use the first game to just see what’s going to happen,” she said. “I felt like I had a better sense of how [Mendez] played after the first game.”
 

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Harrity ’13 enters as favorite at squash nationals

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Top-ranked Todd Harrity ’13 continues to improve. "I think if I played myself from two years ago," he said, "I would beat him 3-0." (© Beverly Schaefer)

While many athletes wilt under the pressure of being ranked first in the country, sophomore Todd Harrity’s run through the college squash season has exemplified the dominance often associated with the number “one.” Harrity recently completed an undefeated team season as Princeton’s No. 1 player.

 
During that stretch, Harrity won all but two of his matches 3-0 and never had a match go to five games. As a result, he enters this weekend’s individual national tournament as the overwhelming favorite.
 
“He’s one of the two best American players at this age, ever,” senior co-captain Peter Sopher said. The other, 2006 Yale graduate Julian Illingworth, is the highest ranked American in professional squash history.
 
In November, Harrity traveled to the Pan-American Games in Guatemala as a member of the United States national team. While the team finished in third-place, Harrity used the experience to gain valuable insight about his game.
 
“[The tournament] was a big eye-opener,” Harrity said. “I learned a lot of little things about my game and technique I could improve. I think if I played myself from two years ago, I would beat him 3-0.”
 

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Sports shorts: Back from exams

Thirteen Princeton teams were in action over the weekend as the athletic seasons resumed in earnest following the January exam break.
 
i-afb992907ef41cf27734ed5266dccd95-wb_sports.jpgKareem Maddox ’11 continued his extraordinary season as MEN’S BASKETBALL opened Ivy League play with home wins over Brown and Yale Jan. 28 and 29. Maddox sparked a key first-half run in a 78-60 defeat of the Bears and finished with 15 points and 14 rebounds. Against Yale, he scored 17 points and made a key block in the final minute as Princeton (14-4, 2-0) held off the surging Bulldogs, 67-63. Head coach Sydney Johnson ’97 said that Maddox’s success has been aided by a talented and balanced Tiger lineup that can spread out defenders. “Kareem’s put the work in, but so has Dan [Mavraides ’11] and so has Doug [Davis ’12],” Johnson said after the Brown game. “We have a team of guys who are trying to improve everyday, and it’s hard [for opponents] to pick who you’re going to take away.”
 
WOMEN’S BASKETBALL also swept its weekend games to maintain a perfect league record. After coasting to a 70-48 win at Brown, the Tigers faced a challenging matchup at Yale, where the Bulldogs took a 22-20 lead into halftime. Princeton (14-3, 3-0) tightened its defense in the second half, holding Yale to 1-for-11 shooting on 3-pointers, and won by a comfortable 52-37 margin. Addie Micir ’11 scored 18 points in each of the weekend games.
 
MEN’S HOCKEY continued its winning ways after the January exam break, posting a 3-0 record in the last week. The Tigers capped that run with a 4-3 overtime win at Clarkson Jan. 29. Kevin Lohry ’11 scored the winning goal. Princeton (14-6-1, 9-4-1) is third in the ECAC standings, behind Yale and Union.
 

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Sports shorts: Kicking off the winter season

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Addie Micir ’11 (Office of Athletic Communications)

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL is off to a 4-2 start that includes impressive wins over Southern California, Delaware, and Lehigh, and a pair of close losses at Rutgers and No. 22 Vanderbilt. Senior captain Addie Micir was the hero in the Southern Cal game Nov. 26, sinking two free-throws with five seconds remaining to put the Tigers on top, 60-59. She followed that performance with a 20-point game against Vanderbilt and an 18-point effort at Delaware in which she hit six of seven 3-point attempts. Through six games, Micir leads Princeton in 3-pointers (3.8 per game) and ranks second on the team in scoring (13.8 points per game).

 
In MEN’S BASKETBALL, Princeton has won its last two contests, scoring more than 80 points in back-to-back games for the first time since 1975. Against Siena Nov. 28, Dan Mavraides ’11 hit a clutch 3-pointer to send the game into overtime, and Kareem Maddox ’11 led Princeton with a remarkable all-around performance that included 30 points, 10 rebounds, and three blocks. At Lafayette Nov. 30, Ian Hummer ’13 made 10 of 12 field-goal attempts to lead the Tigers with 22 points in a convincing win over the Leopards.
 
MEN’S HOCKEY hosts Clarkson and St. Lawrence Dec. 3 and 4 in Princeton’s last two ECAC Hockey games before the league takes a hiatus for fall-term exams at most of the member schools. The Tigers have rebounded from a sluggish start, winning five of their last six games, including shutout victories over Harvard and Quinnipiac.
 

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Sports shorts: International Tigers

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Matt Striebel ’01, left, and Ryan Boyle ’04 (Photos courtesy U.S. Lacrosse)

MEN’S LACROSSE alumni Matt Striebel ’01 and Ryan Boyle ’04 are aiming to recapture the championship for the United States at the 2010 World Lacrosse Championships, beginning July 16 in Manchester, England. [US Lacrosse]

Todd Harrity ’12, the 2010 Ivy League Rookie of the Year in MEN’S SQUASH, won a bronze medal at the 2010 World University Games in Melbourne, Australia, July 13. Harrity lost to German Jens Schoor in the semifinals but topped Leo Au of Hong Kong in the third-place match. [College Squash Association]

Donn Cabral ’12 of the MEN’S TRACK AND FIELD team won the 3,000-meter steeplechase at the North America, Central America, and Caribbean Under-23 Championships in Miramar, Fla., July 10. Team USA dominated the medal count, earning more medals than the other 11 competing nations combined. [USA Track and Field]

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Tiger sports

Winners in winter

For Princeton athletics, the list of 2008-09 Ivy League champions expanded by three during the winter season, with women’s squash, men’s squash, and men’s swimming capturing team titles. The men’s hockey team missed its chance at the Ivy crown but will play for the ECAC Hockey championship — and an automatic bid to the 16-team NCAA Championships — in Albany, N.Y., March 20-21.

Women’s squash had the most impressive run of Princeton’s winter season, winning all 13 of its matches en route to a third consecutive win at the Howe Cup, the sport’s collegiate national championship. The Tigers were dominant at times, winning by a 9-0 or 8-1 score in more than half of their matches. But they also were outstanding when tested. Princeton beat Harvard 5-4 on two occasions — first to wrap up the Ivy title Feb. 8 and then to win the Howe Cup a week later.

In men’s squash, Princeton’s championship was its fourth in four years, an unprecedented feat that highlighted the contributions of senior stars Mauricio Sanchez, Kimlee Wong, and Hesham El Halaby. The Tigers challenged 10-time defending champion Trinity in the national final and lost 5-4 in a contest decided in the fifth game of the ninth match.

The men’s swimming team captured the Ivy title for the third time in four years. The Tigers won the final four events of the championship meet, held March 5-7 at DeNunzio Pool, to extend their lead over second-place Harvard. Doug Lennox ’09 scored wins in the 100-yard and 200-yard butterfly events, shattering his own meet records in both.

The most decorated individual athlete of the winter may be men’s hockey goalie Zane Kalemba ’10, who earned Player of the Year honors from both the Ivy League and ECAC Hockey (as well as Goalie of the Year in ECAC Hockey). Classmate and swimming star Alicia Aemisegger also added to her impressive résumé, earning the Swimmer of the Meet title at the Ivy championships for the third straight year. Aemisegger will compete at the NCAA Championships March 19-21.

i-385b583cbadd565b4aa9ac7f2bb3f838-Cuenca.jpgSenior thesis spotlight: Cracking the code

With funding from the history department, Kelly Stewart ’09 spent her winter break traveling to libraries and archives in Cuenca, Spain, where the 12th-century law code Stewart is studying for her senior thesis was written.

Stewart is examining the Reconquest period, when Christians regained control of the land from Muslims, and the legal code that was intended to create a more stable, family-oriented society. The Fuero de Cuenca, the code handed down by King Alfonso VIII, was seen meant to represent stability, law, and justice in the region. As “one of the first of its kind,” Stewart noted, it was admired and imitated by Christian settlements in the area.

“What disappoints me is that it’s impossible to know how these laws were enforced,” Stewart said. She is intrigued by some of the trial-by-battle rules, which declare God’s intervention as a deciding factor in a fight to the death, as well as laws that protected women and their honor.

While exploring Cuenca and researching at the Biblioteca Nacional de España in Madrid, the Cuenca Provincial Archive, and the Catedral de Cuenca, Stewart was able see architecture from the time period. And at an 800th anniversary event at the Catedral, she saw a page from the original code displayed, written in Castilian.

Some of the most rewarding experiences of her trip were learning to navigate through the old town, walking on its hills, and seeing the cliffs and rivers that mark important geographical boundaries. Cuenca sits perched between two gorges, part of its defense against invaders.

“It really does bring the project to life by seeing it in context,” Stewart said. By Julia Osellame ’09

Above, Kelly Stewart ’09 in Cuenca, Spain. (Photo courtesy Kelly Stewart ’09)

Read other senior thesis spotlights: Chip Snyder ’09 on safari | Adrian Diaz ’09 gets ‘Lost’ | Rosa Marie Maiorella ’09 researches ‘boogie houses’

More from ‘Joker One’ author Campbell ’01

Author and former Marine Lt. Donovan Campbell ’01, featured in the Books and Arts section of PAW’s March 18 issue, spoke about his new memoir, Joker One, with Terry Gross of NPR’s Fresh Air March 5.

Click here to listen to the interview and read an excerpt of Campbell’s book at NPR.org.