The third-ranked Princeton women’s squash team was tested early and often by an upset-minded Drexel squad Thursday night in Philadelphia, but the Tigers overcame a few slow starts and dominated the bottom of the lineup to complete a perfect 2017 portion of the season with an 8-1 win.
The victory was an especially positive one for head coach Gail Ramsay, who was finally able to watch her full recruiting class this past season compete together. While freshmen Raneem El Torky and Emme Leonard maintained their perfect seasons with wins, classmate Gracie Doyle overcame her preseason injury to post a 3-1 win at the No. 5 spot.
“After being out with an injury for the start of the season, I was so excited to be healthy and able to play my first college match for Princeton today,” Doyle said. “All the freshmen have been competing so well all season for the team and I was just excited to join them and to be contributing to the team. I can’t wait to keep training and competing with this team as we approach the rest of the season.”
“Drexel is much stronger this season and they made us work hard,” Ramsay said. “It was great to see Gracie Doyle on court for her first match as a Tiger. She had a slow start but got into a grove and played well. I was impressed with her determination.”
Princeton was 1-1 in four matches, and it went on to win each of them in the 8-1 victory. The marathon victory of the night belonged to junior Samantha Chai, who dropped a pair of 11-8 games but finished her #3 match with an 11-3 victory in the fifth.
“I was happy to win my match this evening, along with everyone else in my shift,” Chai said. “My opponent, Ryan, went to one of my rival high schools so it was fun to have a good match with her. We seemed to alternate having good games, but overall we had similar strengths and long points.”
Princeton is now off for the winter break and will return in exactly one month when it hosts Virginia at 1:30 on Sunday, Jan. 7, on the Ivy League Network.
#3 PRINCETON 8, #9 DREXEL 1
1 – Olivia Fiechter (P) d. Anna Hughes 7, 7, 3
2 – Raneem El Torky (P) d. Hayley Hughes (4), 7, 9, 8
3 – Samantha Chai (P) d. Ryan Morgan 5, (8), 4, (8), 3
4 – Hannah Blatt (D) d. Morgan Steelman 8, 5, 12
5 – Gracie Doyle (P) d. Fiona Power (7), 3, 8, 5
6 – Emme Leonard (P) d. Ona Prokes 10, (7), 8, 5
7 – Isabel Hirshberg (P) d. Apoorva Addepalli 5, 3, 6
8 – Kira Keating (P) d. Emma Macgilivray 3, 5, 4
9 – Madison Soukup (P) d. Rebecca Low 1, 3, 4
MORE TIGER QUOTES
“Drexel is such a good team and we were so excited and fired up to be playing them. I had a good match against such a good player. I lost the first game 11-4, and I wasn’t playing my best. I was hitting so many tins and didn’t have control over the ball, but I came back strong the second game and was able to win the next 3 games. I didn’t give up anytime during the match, and I was trying my best to get every shot. I’m so happy for my performance today, and I’m so grateful to be a part of such a great team.” – Raneem El Torky
“Representing Princeton Squash during our second away match was another very exciting experience. Drexel is ranked number 9 in the league, and we knew they were going to give us a good run. We were all super excited to get on court and play our best, and that is exactly what we did. I won my match in 4 games, and was happy with my performance. During the second game, I fell and tweaked my left shoulder, but luckily after getting looked at by the trainer I got back on court and won the next 2 games. Representing Princeton has been an incredible experience, and I can’t wait for competitive matches in the future.” – Emme Leonard