Hartford, Conn., Feb. 23 - The Trinity College women’s squash team, which finished the 2011-12 regular season with a 15-3 record that included three victories the first weekend in February to capture its sixth consecutive New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) title, will be the No. 5 seed at the College Squash Association (CSA) Team Championships (Howe Cup) this weekend at Harvard University. The Bantams will play against the No. 4-seeded University of Pennsylvania Quakers in the quarterfinal round on Friday, February 24 at 11 a.m., with the winner advancing to the semifinals the next day at 1:30 p.m., and the finals scheduled for Sunday, February 26 at 1 p.m.
The Howe Cup consists of the top eight teams in intercollegiate squash in a three-round, single elimination tournament. Trinity, coached by Wendy Bartlett (28th season, 297-87), has been to the Howe Cup Finals four times and won the national title in 2002 and 2003. The Bantams finished fourth in the Howe Cup in 2010-11 with a 6-3 loss to Harvard in the semifinals and a 5-4 setback at Princeton in the third-place match. Harvard is the tournament’s No. 1 seed, while Yale is No. 2, and Princeton is No. 3. Seeds two thru five possess the talent to win the national crown, should Harvard falter. Trinity won at home against Penn, 5-4, on January 29, but lost at Yale, 7-2, at home against Harvard, 8-1, and at Princeton, 8-1, on February 11. The Bantams blanked Mount Holyoke, 9-0, on Saturday to close the dual season.
Trinity has a combined individual dual match record of 123-30 in its 18 matches this year, and first-year Ashley Tidman (Lamor-Plage, France) leads Trinity with a 14-2 record playing in the upper half of the lineup. Sophomore Wee Nee Low (Penang, Malaysia) is 10-1 but has not played since the NESCAC Tournament finals on February 5, while junior Robyn Hodgson (Aberdeen, Scotland) is 10-2, sophomore Jennifer Pelletier (Richmond Hill, Ontario) is 13-3, and senior Pamela Larromana Jimenez (Puerto Vallarta, Mexico) is 12-3. Sophomore Catalina Pelaez (Bogota, Colombia) rivals any player in the country at the No. 1 spot in the lineup with a 10-3 record, while senior co-captain Alicia Rodriguez (San Luis Potosi, Mexico) is Betty Richey Award finalist with a 10-4 record. Senior Andrea Echeverria (San Salvador, El Salvador) is tied with Tidman for the team lead in wins with 14 against four losses, while rookie Natalie Babjukova (Prague, Czech Republic) is 13-4. Pennsylvania, was 8-3 in dual matches this winter, including a 5-4 loss to Yale, a 7-2 loss at Harvard, and a 6-3 win over Princeton.