HAVERFORD, Pa. - The Haverford College women's squash team registered a 6-3 victory over Swarthmore in its opening contest of the 2019-20 season. A thrilling five-game victory from Isabelle Johnson at the second flight wrapped up what was a back-and-forth evening of action at the GIAC Squash Courts, as the Garnet battled a formidable Haverford side for the second consecutive night. The contest was counted as an exhibition for both sides.
Haverford saw great success in the final third of its opening night lineup as first year Caroline Smith made quick work of Dawson Epstein at the seventh flight (11-7, 12-10, 11-4), while junior Tia Brown surrendered just three points in a sweep of Tamaka Harada at the eighth flight (11-3, 11-0, 11-0). First year Maisie Smith got the best of Paris Shan at the sixth spot on the ladder, taking down her opponent in three (11-7, 11-5, 11-3).
Swarthmore countered with a sweep at the top flight, as Ford Johnstone was able to sneak past senior co-captain Kaitlin Reese in a close battle, notching a hard-fought 13-11, 11-8, 11-8 win. Robert Gunn also defeated senior co-captain Sunny Chai (11-4, 11-9, 11-3) at the third flight to put another tally in the ledger of the visiting Garnet.
Nathan Pitock and sophomore Urgyen Wangmo were locked in one of the most compelling matches of the evening at number four, as Wangmo fell behind two games to none before roaring back to force a fifth and final stanza. Ultimately, it was Pitock escaping with an 11-9, 11-7, 8-11, 7-11, 11-7 victory for Swarthmore's third win of the day.
Sophomore Shreya Singh and James Sutton also locked horns at the fifth flight, with Singh cruising to an 11-4, 11-8, 11-9 win. The last match of the day to finish captivated the crowd gathered at the GIAC Squash Courts, as sophomore Isabelle Johnson and Yichuan Yan swapped salvos at the second flight.
Johnson took relatively clean 11-6 and 11-8 victories in the first two games, but Yan had an instant answer, staying in contention with consecutive 11-8 and 11-7 victories. In a fifth game that needed extra points to decide a match winner, Johnson got momentum down the stretch and retained a boost from the home crowd for an emphatic 12-10 victory to put a bow on the win for Haverford.
Women's Squash now returns to action on Saturday, November 9 at the Navy Round Robin in Annapolis. The Fords will head to the United States Naval Academy for anticipated duels with Johns Hopkins (12 p.m.) and Georgetown (2 p.m.) to open the 2019-20 campaign in earnest.