No. 5 Virginia women’s squash traveled to Philadelphia, Pa. this past weekend to compete in the 2023 National Collegiate Women’s Team Squash Championships. The Cavaliers (13-7) competed in the Howe Championship bracket, the top bracket for the CSA tournament, for the second consecutive year. Although the squad only finished fourth, it was the best finish in program history.
The tournament opened for the Cavaliers with a match against No. 4 Drexel. Prior to this meetup, Virginia was 0-7 against the Dragons (13-4), but they were able to overcome this streak of losses and defeat Drexel to advance into the championships Saturday morning.
Junior Olivia Walsh has been Virginia’s winningest player this season, losing only her first match against Princeton last weekend to finish the regular season 11-1. She and freshman Lina Tammam opened the match this weekend with wins in three straight games at the third and fifth positions.
Junior Meagan Best finished the regular season with a 10-4 record and was able to earn another win at the No. 1 position this weekend against the Dragons.
Drexel earned wins at the fourth, seventh, eighth and ninth positions to put the Dragons up 4-3 in matches, but senior Maria Moya was able to tie the match up with a 3-1 win at the No. 2 position. With the matches tied 4-4, the deciding game was left up to graduate student Sydney Maxwell at the six.
In the final match of the day, Maxwell lost the first game to freshman Emma Bartley but was able to win the next three to earn the victory for the Cavaliers.
Following the win against Drexel, the Virginia women’s squash team was defeated 6-3 by No. 1 Trinity (18-1) Saturday morning.
Best started the match with a 3-0 victory against sophomore Jana Safy, earning the first point for the Cavaliers at the No. 1 position.
The only two other wins for Virginia were recorded by Walsh and Maxwell, both in five games at the five and six positions, respectively. Walsh lost the first and third games, but only allowed her opponent to earn three points in the final game to quickly secure her win.
Sophomore Maureen Foley was the only player to go 3-0 last weekend in the tournament against Penn, Princeton and Cornell, but unfortunately fell to sophomore Janna El Ashmawy in five games against the Bantams (18-1). Sophomore Eliza Mills similarly battled hard over five games but was unable to earn the win against freshman Fabiola Cabello.
Moya, Tammam and graduate student Emma Jinks fell to their opponents at the two, three and four positions.
The 2023 season ended Sunday following a 5-4 loss to No. 3 Princeton with the Cavaliers finishing in fourth at the CSA Championship.
Best started the match with an impressive win against sophomore Molly Chadwick in three straight games. Best won all three matches at the No. 1 position during the tournament to finish her third season on the team.
Tammam won her match in four games against freshman Liyen Teoh, and Walsh earned another win for the Cavaliers, dropping only one match over the whole season. Walsh earned the victory against freshman Charlotte Bell at the five positions in three straight games.
The fourth win from Virginia came from senior Julia Curran in the nine position. She quickly closed the first game, giving up only one point to freshman Abigail Schuster. Her opponent was able to win the second game 11-6, but Curran won the third and fourth games to secure the match.
Moya put up a tough fight against senior Andrea Toth but was unable to come away with a win. She won the first two games, but Toth shifted her strategy and quickly won the next three.
Jinks, Maxwell and sophomore Nicolina Tessitore were beaten by their Princeton opponents in three straight games at the four, six and eight positions. Maureen Foley earned one game against junior Olivia Robinson but lost the match to give the Tigers (11-3) the victory.
The season ended for the Cavaliers with this fourth-place finish at the CSA Championship, but many Virginia players will continue competing at the CSA Individual Championships at the Arlen Specter Squash Center in Philadelphia, Pa. beginning March 3.