The Cornell women's squash team participated in the Kurtz Cup this weekend, sweeping its first two matches, in identical 9-0 scores, against Middlebury and Colby before falling to Bates, 6-3, in the finals on Sunday. The Red finished the year placing 10th in the Kurtz Cup B division of the CSA championships.
"We had two relatively easy first and second rounds. We won all of the matches very comfortably, which was to be expected,"said head coach Julee Devoy. "Then we played Bates in the finals. We knew that was going to be a close one."
Cornell was ranked No. 9 before falling to No. 10 Bates on Sunday. Freshman Maxi Prinsen, freshman Alex Cornett, and junior Cory Warfield picked up the team's three wins of the final round. Cornett offered some encouraging words about her experience and the level of effort the Red put into the match.
"The team went into the match with high expectations, and although we didn't pull it off, everyone tried their hardest," she said. "As a freshman, it was my first time playing in a team tournament like this. I felt the team emphasis, striving for a common goal, made it a lot of fun."
Devoy was also impressed with the amount of effort shown by the team.
"Prinsen did very well to win her game despite not being 100 percent healthy. To do that takes a certain amount of commitment," Devoy said. "Bates' mid to bottom order of their lineup is stronger than ours, so we expected that we were going to lose a few of those. ... I think [the players] were disappointed, but they did maintain their No. 10 rating."
In Cornell's victory on Friday against No. 16 Middlebury, Prinsen allowed only four games to her opponent as she played from the No. 1 position. The following day the Red defeated No. 13 Colby, as junior Jamie Singer came from down 2-9 and 6-9 in her first two games to win the match, taking the next three games 9-4, 10-8, and 9-7.
Although the team will lose several players this year, Devoy has high hopes for next year's younger team.
"We lose four seniors this year, so it's going to be a young team next year," she said. "Eight out of 10 will be freshmen and sophomores, but we'll be looking to break into the top-8 next season."
Although Cornell was not able reach this goal this past weekend, the team was recognized at the tournament's banquet Saturday evening, being awarded the Clarence Chaffee award for sportsmanship, character and teamwork. Devoy was especially proud of this achievement, as the winner of the award is chosen by the other teams at the tournament.
"It is quite a prestigious honor ... [the players] were very high-spirited to be thought of so well by all the other teams in the national championship," Devoy said.
On Thursday the Red travels to Amherst, Mass., for the NISRA individual championships. Cornett and sophomore Mairin Barnes will be participating in that event.
The Red finishes the season with a record of 6-7, ranked No. 10 in the nation.
Archived article by David Sims