Women's Squash Falls to Harvard, 6-3, in Howe Cup Semis

NEW HAVEN, CONN. – Third-ranked Penn (12-3, 6-3 Ivy) had its quest for the Howe Cup halted on Saturday afternoon, falling to No. 2 Harvard (14-1, 7-1), 6-3, in the semifinals. The loss was the Quakers’ second to the Crimson this season, both coming by the same score. The Red and White will meet top-ranked Princeton (12-1, 7-0) on Sunday at 1 p.m. in a battle for third place – the Tigers were upset by No. 4 Trinity (16-2), 6-3, on Saturday.

Much like their first meeting this season, the Quakers and Crimson battled to an extremely close finish. Two of Penn’s losses came in the full five games and another two came in four games.

The Quakers’ three victories came at positions two, eight and nine from Yan Xin, Courtney Jones and Chloe Blacker, respectively. All three were very competitive matches, as Xin and Jones won in five games apiece, and Blacker took her match in four.

A day after huge win at No. 1 against Cornell, Nabilla Ariffin fell in straight games to the top-ranked player in all of collegiate women’s squash, Amanda Sobhy. Rachael Goh was able to come back from two games down to force a fifth, but dropped a tough match at position three to Haley Mendez. Haidi Lala played in what was the most evenly matched contest of the day, falling in five games at No. 4 to Michelle Gemmell – three of the five games went past 11 points, including the first game which ended in Lala’s favor, 20-18.

Pia Trikha dropped her match at No. 5 in four games, as did Camille Lanier at the seventh position. Yarden Odinak fell at No. 6 in straight games.

The Red and Blue will have another shot at payback when they face Princeton tomorrow. The Tigers will be just as hungry as Penn, falling in upset fashion to the Bantams in the other semifinal match earlier in the day. The last time the Quakers faced the nation’s top-ranked team was back on Jan. 30 in New Jersey, losing 9-0. The two teams battled closely, with four matches going the full five games, and another three going four.

Check back with PennAthletics.com tomorrow for more updates on Penn’s action at the Howe Cup.

Full Results
Harvard 6, Penn 3

No. 1: Amanda Sobhy (H) def. Nabilla Ariffin (P) 3-0, (11-5, 11-2, 11-3)
No. 2: Yan Xin (P) def. Laura Gemmell (H) 3-2, (11-9, 10-12, 2-11, 11-9, 11-7)
No. 3: Haley Mendez (H) def. Rachael Goh (P) 3-2, (11-9, 11-9, 6-11, 9-11, 11-8)
No. 4: Michelle Gemmell (H) def. Haidi Lala (P) 3-2, (18-20, 12-10, 11-3, 10-12, 11-7)
No. 5: Saumya Karki (H) def. Pia Trikha 3-1, (5-11, 11-3, 11-9, 11-3)
No. 6: Natasha Kingshott (H) def. Yarden Odinak (P) 3-0, (11-7, 11-8, 11-7)
No. 7: Sarah Mumanachit (H) def. Camille Lanier (P) 3-1, (9-11, 11-3, 11-4, 11-3)
No. 8: Courtney Jones (P) def. Julianne Chu (H) 3-2, (11-6, 10-12, 11-6, 8-11, 11-3)
No. 9: Chloe Blacker (P) def. Megan Murray (H) 3-1, (11-6, 6-11, 11-7, 11-9)