2019-20 Season Preview
HAVERFORD, Pa. - The Haverford women's squash team has its sights set on a division title at the CSA Team Championships in February, with all eyes on taking another step forward after finishing fourth in the Epps Cup "D Division" grouping a season ago. After big wins over foes such as Bucknell and Vassar in the lead up to last year's postseason play, the team hopes to reverse some close matches down the stretch this year. Last season, the Fords finished with the No. 28 overall ranking in the College Squash Association (CSA) rankings, the best year-end showing for the squad since the 2005-06 season.
Haverford has the unique benefit of returning both its captains from a season ago, as seniors Kaitlin Reese and Sunny Chai both return to the captaincy in 2019-20. A young squad that includes five newcomers, Haverford knows that a daily commitment and a strong team culture will be vital to ensuring a path to postseason success.
Reese, a product of Charlottesville, Va., represented Haverford at the CSA Individual Championships and topped the ladder a season ago. She owns a 31-24 overall record, and will look to take aim at Haverford's overall career wins record, as she needs just seven more individual wins to match the record established by Rachel Kaplan '99.
Reese was both a Philadelphia Inquirer Academic All-Area selection and a CSA Scholar Athlete a season ago. As a team, the Fords had a program-record four CSA Scholar Athletes as Reese joined Stephanie Lukez, Chai, and Sophia Jackson as academic honorees.
Isabelle Johnson, Shreya Singh, Urgyen Wangmo, Chai, Jackson, Tia Brown, and Hannah Adler all return to the squad with a wealth of experience under their belts. Johnson was a stalwart for the Fords in her first campaign on campus, notching an 8-3 record at the second flight. Chai went 11-4 on the court a season ago, including an unblemished 5-0 mark at the fifth flight and 7-2 at the sixth position. Newcomers to the squad include Caroline Smith and Maisie Smith (West Simsbury, Conn.), Lyvia Yan (Berwyn, Pa.), Emilia Zegers (Santiago, Chile) and Catie Lacey (Albuquerque, N.M.).
Last season, the Fords finished with the No. 28 overall ranking in the College Squash Association (CSA) rankings, the best year-end showing for the squad since the 2005-06 season.
Haverford begins the season this week, with an exhibition match against Swarthmore slated for Friday, November 1. The season then opens in earnest at the always challenging Navy Round Robin against Johns Hopkins and Georgetown on November 9. The match with the Hoyas is an early season contest to watch as the Fords have been evenly matched with Georgetown in some recent meetings, besting the Hoyas by a 6-3 final in 2018 after a narrow CSA Team Championships loss in 2017.
A Saturday night (Dec. 7) matchup at home against St. Lawrence is the final match of 2019, as the Fords will face off with the Saints for the first time since the 2000-01 season. The 2020 portion of the schedule begins with a highly anticipated home showdown against Wesleyan (Jan. 17). Late season trips to Fordham (Jan. 18), the Pioneer Valley Invitational (Jan. 25-26), and the Centennial Conference Round Robin (Feb. 15) are paired with a group of home matches against Richmond and Vassar (Feb. 1), while Senior Day will be celebrated on February 8 with showdowns against Denison and Bucknell at the GIAC Squash Courts.
The CSA Team Championships are slated for February 21-23 in New Haven, Conn. while the CSA Individual Championships will be held from March 6-8 in Philadelphia.