No. 5 Stanford squash (5-5) concluded its regular season with a 1-2 split in New Haven over the weekend, beating No. 14 George Washington (4-11) before falling to No. 4 Yale (10-1) and No. 2 Trinity (11-1).
On the road for the second consecutive week, the Cardinal were convincing in an 8-1 defeat of George Washington but came up short against league frontrunners Yale and Trinity on Saturday and Sunday, losing both matches 3-6.
As predicted, the weekend’s latter two competitions were tightly contested. Stanford conceded two critical five-game matches on the home courts of an improved Yale squad, with senior captains Casey Wong and Chloe Chemtob both losing in deciding games. Stanford’s depth, a major factor in last year’s victories over the Bulldogs, was less effective against Yale and Trinity.
There were some positives to take away for the Cardinal, who remained competitive throughout the weekend against highly ranked competition. Junior Caroline Neave and sophomore Amita Gondi, playing at the No. 4 and No. 6 slots, respectively, swept their three matches over the weekend.
Stanford concludes its regular season 5-5, a step down from its 6-4 record last year. Attention now turns to the Howe Cup of the College Squash Association (CSA) National Championships, the postseason tournament that will include just the top eight teams.
The Cardinal will anxiously await the CSA’s final ranking updates in hopes of securing a top-four seed when the dust settles on an unusually chaotic regular season. Though Stanford was unable to spring the upset against No. 4 Yale, they own a transient win over the Bulldogs through their defeat of Columbia in New York. The CSA’s algorithms will decide whether that outweighs Stanford’s loss to No. 8 Drexel from earlier in the season.
Regardless of where they land in the bracket, the Cardinal are sure to face tough rematches against their East Coast foes, all of whom have played Stanford during the regular season. Finally back on home turf, the team has a four-week break to rest up and prepare for what promises to be an intriguing postseason.
“I think we were all disappointed [this weekend] that we lost a couple of tight matches in five,” said senior captain Casey Wong. “But because we are so close and because we lost tight matches… I think we’re all really pumped up to play those teams again and get them next time.”
The Cardinal will be back in action on February 21 at the CSA National Championships in New Haven, CT.
Contact Daniel Wu at dwu21 ‘at’ stanford.edu.