Princeton, NJ — The 2014 Women’s College Squash Association National Team Championships had great team and individual performances. In this special edition of the [hpow], we recognize a player from each division of the tournament.
Howe Cup (A Division) – Catalina Pelaez (Trinity College): Pelaez, the senior co-captain, helped the Bantams earn their third National Team Championships. In the tournament, she went undefeated at the #2 position. She defeated Stanford’s Serena Fagan (11-3, 11-6, and 11-3), Penn’s Yan Xin Tan (12-10, 6-11, 11-4, and 11-7), and Harvard’s Haley Mendez (11-5, 4-11,1 1-8, and 11-4). Pelaez was also awarded the 2014 Richey Award. On the season, Pelaez was a perfect 12-0 in team play.
Kurtz Cup (B Division) – Jacqueline Shea (George Washington): Shea, the senior tri-captain, came through in the clutch for the Colonials. In the semifinal match with higher-seeded Brown, the team match was tied at 4-4. Shea defeated Brown’s #4, Emily Richmond, in four games (10-12, 11-4, 11-9, and 11-5) to send George Washington to the Kurtz Cup finals against Columbia. In the final, George Washington was down 2-4, but Shea was part of the comeback, defeating Reyna Pacheco, which helped helped the Colonials secure a 5-4 victory and the Kurtz Cup.
Walker Cup (C Division) – Lena Rice (Amherst College): Rice, the senior co-captain, went undefeated in Walker Cup play. In the opening round, she defeated Colby’s Clea Harrelson and followed that victory up by defeating Bowdoin’s Lila Wright. In the final against Franklin & Marshall, Rice dropped the first game to #9 Dana Rapisarda, but rebounded to take the next three games to capture the individual match (10-12, 11-6, 11-6, and 11-5) and help Amherst earn the Walker Cup, 6-3.
Epps Cup (D Division) – Charlotte Searle (University of Virginia): With the Epps Cup final between Virginia and Boston College tied at 4-4, only the #4 match between Searle and Madeline Bette remained to be played. After being down 1-2, Searle tied the match at 2-2. She took a commanding lead in the final game, 10-3, but Bette chipped away, tying the game at 10-10. Both Virginia and BC players were going through emotional roller coasters as the game progressed. In the end, Searle won the final game (11-7, 9-11, 7-11, 11-6, and 12-10) and the Epps Cup for the Cavaliers.
E Division – Vivian Lee (Smith College): After only returning three players from last season, Smith College built a competitive roster that grew in talent throughout the season. Senior captain Vivian Lee was a huge part of this endeavor. During the tournament, she went 3-0, and helped the inexperienced Pioneers finish 39th in the team rankings. Against Minnesota, she won a five-game match at the #1 position against Andrea Belgrade (8-11, 11-4, 9-11, 11-8, and 11-6). Against Rochester, Lee won a pivotal match in Smith’s 5-4 victory. She battled back from 0-2 down against Amanda Lardizabal to win in five games (7-11, 9-11, 15-13, 11-7, and 11-9).