Hartford, Conn., Feb. 17 - The Trinity College women's squash team, which finished the 2010-11 regular season with a 13-2 record, has earned the No. 3 seed in the College Squash Association (CSA) National Championship Tournament (Howe Cup) and will open the tourney against No. 6-seeded Stanford in the quarterfinals on Friday, February 18 at 11:30 a.m. at Princeton University's Jadwin Courts.
The Bantams, coached by Wendy Bartlett (27th Season), closed the dual-match season with an 8-1 triumph against No. 5-ranked Princeton after winning their fifth consecutive New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Championship title with three convincing victories two weekends ago. The Bantams will play against the No. 6-seeded Stanford University Cardinal in the quarterfinal round on Friday, February 18 at 11:30 a.m., with the winner advancing to the semifinals the next day at the same time, and the finals scheduled for Sunday, February 20 at 1:30 p.m.
The Howe Cup consists of the top eight teams in intercollegiate squash in a three-round, single elimination tournament. Trinity has been to the Howe Cup Finals four times and won the national title in 2002 and 2003. The Bantams finished third in the Howe Cup the last two seasons, rebounding from 5-4 losses to Princeton and Pennsylvania, respectively, in the 2009 and 2010 semifinals to earn close wins in the third-place matches. Yale is the tournament's No. 1 seed, while Harvard is No. 3, and Pennsylvania is No. 4. Trinity won at Pennsylvania, 6-3, in late January, lost, 7-2, at Harvard on February 9, and lost, 7-2, to Yale at home last month.
Against Princeton Sunday, freshman Catalina Pelaez (Bogota, Colombia), ranked No. 8 in the nation among individuals, posted a 3-0 victory over Tiger sophomore Julie Cerullo (Brooklyn, N.Y.), the nation's No. 6-ranked player, in the No. 1 match to highlight the afternoon. Trinity led, 2-1, after the first wave of matches thanks to 3-0 shutouts by sophomore Alicia Rodriguez (San Luis Potosi, Mexico) and senior tri-captain Robyn Williams (Bulawayo, Zimbabwe) in the No. 6 and No. 9 matches, respectively, and swept the final five matches.
Trinity has a combined individual dual match record of 105-30 in its 15 matches this year, and Rodriguez leads Trinity with a team-high 14 wins against just one loss while dominating her competition at the No. 6 spot in the lineup. Pelaez is 13-1, while junior tri-captain Pamela Hathway is 7-1 at the No. 2 position after returning from a semester studying abroad in the fall. Williams has dominated the No. 9 spot with an 11-1 record, while junior Andrea Echeverria (San Salvador, El Salvador) and freshman Jennifer Pelletier (Richmond Hill, Ontario) are both 11-3, and senior tri-captain Emery Holton (Philadelphia, Pa.) is 11-4. Hathway, ranked No. 2 in the nation, and Pelletier at No. 14, join Pelaez among the nation's top 20 players for the Bantams. Stanford, 7-5 in dual matches, features No. 11-ranked sophomore Pamela Chua (Singapore) in its lineup. Trinity edged the Cardinal, 5-4, in its season opener in November.