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Virginia women’s squash wins the Kurtz Cup with victory over Dartmouth

For the first time in program history, the Cavaliers end the season ranked in the top 10

<p>The Kurtz Cup is awarded to the national champion of the B Division of the College Squash Association Team Championships. &nbsp;</p>

The Kurtz Cup is awarded to the national champion of the B Division of the College Squash Association Team Championships.  

Virginia women’s squash won the Kurtz Cup, which is awarded to the national champion of the B Division of the College Squash Association Team Championships, for the first time in program history this past weekend. 

Entering the weekend with a 14-6 record, the Cavaliers overcame Middlebury, Cornell and Dartmouth en route to the championship. Virginia lost just six matches all weekend.

Virginia began its tournament weekend against Middlebury Friday, coming away with a decisive 9-0 victory at Yale’s Brady Squash Center. The No. 2 Cavaliers (17-6) swept the No. 7 Panthers (8-9) for the fourth straight time. 

Sophomore Emma Jinks started out the match strong for Virginia, defeating sophomore Ideal Dowling 11-3, 11-4, 11-2 at the top of the order. 

Notable performances were also delivered by senior Sarah Doss, who only conceded four points in her 3-0 victory against freshman Grace Santoro, and junior Emily Woodworth, who rallied back from a 4-11 loss to beat senior Natasha Lowitt 4-11, 11-1, 11-4, 11-5. 

While a few other Cavaliers ran into trouble, Virginia ultimately cruised to a comfortable win.

Next, Virginia faced No. 3 Cornell (7-11) Saturday, coming away with a 6-3 win to advance to the finals for the first time in team history. 

Despite Cornell securing the first point of the day, Virginia quickly rallied back with wins from freshman Maria Paula Moya and senior Julia Thompson to lead 2-1. 

Virginia stretched the lead after sophomore Caroline Baldwin recorded a 11-9, 11-8, 11-9 win in position nine, and sophomore Sydney Maxwell won 11-3, 11-8, 11-6 against senior Colby Gallagher in position three. 

Freshman Julia Curran was then up in position seven against freshman McKenna Stoltz, with the opportunity to win the entire game for the Cavaliers. She did exactly that after taking a decisive 11-3, 11-3, 11-3 victory. 

The win secured Virginia’s spot in the finals Sunday. In the championship, Virginia faced No. 1 Dartmouth (8-7). 

Dartmouth had a strong start, winning three straight points in positions three, nine and four. However, Curran turned the tide for the Cavaliers, defeating junior Sandra Reiss 11-9, 8-11, 11-6, 9-11, 11-5, in a thriller.

Another notable performance came from Paula Moya, who came back from losing two consecutive matches 4-11, 7-11 to win her last three matches 11-9, 11-5, 11-4 and secure another hard-fought win in position two. 

Jinks, Thompson and freshman Grace Seymour all also recorded notable 3-0 victories against their opponents, as Virginia took home the championship win.

"I couldn't be prouder of this team," Coach Mark Allen said. "They played their hearts out today. Historically, going 3-0 down after the first wave of matches is something that our team has not been able to recover from, but today when their backs were against the wall, they believed in their own ability and played great quality squash to find their way back into the match.”

The men’s squash team will now have its turn to compete at the CSA Championships, starting Friday in Boston. 

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