Mateo Vazquez ’21
This past weekend, the Women’s Squash team had the opportunity to compete in the Howe Cup, the National Team Championship, hosted at Yale University. While this tournament was the end of the National Team events, there are still individual rounds that are set to occur in two weeks at the University of Pennsylvania. Nonetheless, the Howe Cup is in essence a final wrap up of the season for the team to demonstrate their excellent performance.
The tournament proved to be a great demonstration of the Bantam squash program. Trinity won spots number 2-4 by a combined score of 9-0. The Bantams kept the competition on their feet. This weekend the team also made numerous strides in the national rankings. Junior Akanksha Salunkhe, who was previously ranked at number 18 nationally, was able to win 3-0 against the number 16 nationally ranked individual. However, across the board the matches were quite competitive, and the intensity only progressed further into the rounds. Unfortunately, Yale beat Trinity by 3-2 in the sixth match after a very hard fought battle. The match was so quick paced that at certain moments, one could not even see the ball moving. Nonetheless, Yale saw an opportunity to build momentum and capitalized upon that chance to secure the victory.
In comparison to last year, the team did make remarkable improvements in their style of play and overall had a great season. The team had similar results last year in the Howe Cup which was hosted by Harvard. In the 2019 Howe Cup, the team also lost 9-0. Hence, they faced a similar struggle the past few years in executing their style of play in the Howe Cup, and is definitely a focus point for the team in their upcoming season. In retrospect, the Howe Cup was a unique opportunity to witness very closely nationally ranked players face off against one another. The level of play was quite spectacular for both sides, leading to astounding results. While the Howe Cup did not fall in favor of Trinity, the tournament was a reflection on the high level of skillful squash playing that Trinity still brings to the court.
The Bantams ended the tournament in fourth place, something that is, in itself, quite an accomplishment. Moving forward, it will be interesting to see what the team can do from this point of departure. As previously mentioned, though the Howe Cup marks the end of the regular season, there are still many more opportunities for individual players on the team to compete in upcoming matches. The National Championship individual rounds are an amazing chance to demonstrate the type of players and the level of skill that the Bantams still bring to the game. We cannot wait to see what the outcome of the individual squash matches in the near future will be, and we wish the Bantams the best of luck moving forward with their other competitions this semester.