Princeton, N.J. - The No. 3-seed Trinity College women's squash team fell, 5-4, to the No. 2-seeded Pennsylvania Quakers in the 2017 College Squash Association (CSA) National Team Championship (Howe Cup) Semifinals this afternoon at the Jadwin Squash Courts on the campus of Princeton University. Trinity, who defeated Stanford University in yesterday's quarterfinals, falls to 15-3 on the year and will play Princeton in tomorrow's third-place match, while Penn improves to 13-1 with its 12th-straight win and advances to tomorrow's Howe Cup Championship game.
Trinity swept the first wave with wins at No. 3, No. 6 and No. 9, to jump out to the early lead. Junior Karolina Holinkova (Krnov, Czech Republic) put Trinity on the board first with a 3-1 victory at No. 9 while classmate Julia LeCoq (Creteil, France) gutted out a 3-2 win at No. 6 shortly thereafter. Bantam rookie and New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Rookie of the Year Vanessa Raj (Teluk Kumbar, Malaysia) closed out the wave with a 3-2 victory at No. 3 after Penn junior Marie Stephan (Nimes, France) forced a fifth game after going down, 3-1.
Penn ended the shutout in the second wave when senior Grace Van Arkel (Haverford, Pa.) earned a 3-1 victory at No. 8 to cut into Trinity's lead. Melissa Alves (Kourou, French Guiana) followed suit with a win at No. 2 before a victory at No. 5 by Quaker first-year Jessica Davis (Manchester, England) gave Penn the second wave sweep and tied the overall match score at 3-3 entering the final wave.
Bantam sophomore Jenny Haley (Newport, Wales) thwarted Penn's momentum thanks to a victory at No. 7, putting Trinity up, 4-3, in the overall match with just two matches remaining. Despite the Bantam lead, Penn rallied back as Reeham Salah (Sammamish, Wash.) won, 3-1, at the top-spot to even the overall match once again, this time at 4-4. Quaker senior Anaka Alankamony (Chennai, India) followed with a sweep at No. 4 to deliver Penn the 5-4 victory and berth in tomorrow's Howe Cup Championship match.