MEDFORD – The No. 17 Tufts women’s squash team will head to Connecticut this weekend to wrap up their 2018-19 season at the College Squash Association Team Championships Friday through Sunday. The Jumbos are the top seed in the Walker Cup, which includes teams ranked 17th through 24th.
The Jumbos head into the weekend with a 10-6 record. They played in the Walker Cup last year where they finished with a national ranking of No. 19.
Heading into the weekend the Jumbos have their sights set on winning the Walker Cup and defending their No. 17 ranking.
“The goal for the weekend is to finish stronger than we started,” senior co-captain Chista Irani said. “And to secure the #1 position in our draw.”
Joining the Jumbos in the Walker Cup this year will be No. 18 Dickinson, No. 19 Bates, No. 20 Franklin and Marshall, No. 21 Mount Holyoke, No. 22 Hamilton, No. 23 Wesleyan and No. 24 St. Lawrence. The Jumbos face off with St. Lawrence on Friday at 2 pm. The Saints and the Jumbos are a bit familiar with each other, as the two teams played last year to open the CSA Team Championships and the Jumbos picked up a 9-0 win.
The women have also faced off with others in the Walker Cup this year. They played Wesleyan twice and picked up 9-0 wins both times. They also collected a hard earned 5-4 win over Bates in the fifth-place match of the NESCAC Tournament earlier in February, and another 6-3 win over the Bobcats back in January. Also in January, the Jumbos earned an 8-1 win over Mount Holyoke and a 7-2 win against Dickinson.
The winner of Friday’s match between the Jumbos and the Saints will take on the winner of the match between Mount Holyoke and Franklin and Marshall on Saturday at 6:30 pm The other side of the bracket features Bates taking on Hamilton and Wesleyan facing off with Dickinson. The winners of those two matches play on Saturday at 6:30 pm as well. Saturday’s winners play on Sunday at 2:30 pm for the Walker Cup title.
Junior co-captain Claire Davidson has spent a majority of the season in the No. 1 position for the Jumbos. Sophomore Julie Yeung and freshman Megan Chen have regularly played right behind her. Veteran senior Zarena Jafry has plenty of CSA Team Championships experience and she has been in the fourth spot this season for the Jumbos. Junior Catherine Shanahan has played in the fifth spot with sophomore Rachel Windreich taking the courts in the sixth spot. Freshman Diya Sanghi, junior Chloe Kantor and Irani have anchored the bottom of the Jumbos lineup.
With plenty of experience in the lineup, the Jumbos should be ready to go this weekend when they set out to defend their national ranking.
“This week the team has been focusing a lot of getting mentally strong to be able to create and execute our game play against our competitors this weekend,” Irani said. “This gives us a lot of confidence going into Nationals and it should be a good weekend of competitive squash!”