National Champion! No. 1 Women’s Squash Completes Perfect Season with 6-3 Win Over No. 3 Penn

Photo courtesy of Chris Smith.

Final CSA Championships Bracket
Complete CSA Coverage of Harvard Winning National Title
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NEW HAVEN, Conn. –The top-ranked Harvard women’s squash team captured the 12th national title in program history, as the Crimson won the College Squash Association national women’s team championship Sunday. Harvard defeated No. 3 Penn by a score of 6-3 to grab its first national crown since 2001.

The Crimson completed its magical season with a perfect 12-0 record, as Harvard also claimed the Ivy League title and Barhite Award, given to team with the best dual-match record, along the way this year. Harvard’s national championship is the second for the women’s program under the leadership of head coach Satinder Bajwa.

After coming within one match of winning the national crown last season, Harvard advanced to this year’s final by defeating No. 8 Williams, 9-0, in the quarterfinal round, before taking down No. 5 Yale, 7-2, in the semifinals.

In Sunday’s Howe Cup final, the teams used a three-court system, starting with position 3, 6 and 9. At the No. 3 slot, June Tiong downed Sydney Scott in three straight games, while co-captain Johanna Snyder remained unbeaten on the season, taking care of Britt Hebden, 3-1, at the No. 6 spot. Penn cut Harvard’s match lead in half, 2-1, as Pia Trikha handed Bethan Williams a loss at the No. 9 position, 3-0.

Up next, Nirasha Guruge cruised by Nabillia Ariffin, 3-1, at the No. 2 slot, while Natasha Kingshott improved to 11-0 on the season at the No. 5 position, beating Yarden Odinak in a close match, 3-2. The Crimson clinched the team match and the national title when co-captain Katherine O’Donnell outlasted Christina Matthias, 3-2, at the No. 8 spot, as O’Donnell put Harvard ahead, 5-1.

Harvard also earned a victory at the No. 1 position, as Laura Gemmell moved to 11-0 on the year at the top spot, defeating Kristen Lange in straight sets, 3-0. Gemmell has not lost a game all season.

The Crimson will send a contingent of players to the upcoming CSA Individual Championships, to be held at Hartford, Conn., March 5-7.

Complete Results
No. 1 Harvard 6, No. 3 Penn 3

No. 1 Laura Gemmell (H) def. Kristen Lange (P) 3-0: 11-6, 11-6, 11-3
No. 2 Nirasha Guruge (H) def. Nabilla Ariffin (P) 3-1: 11-7, 11-8, 8-11, 11-4
No. 3 June Tiong (H) def. Sydney Scott (P) 3-0: 11-8, 11-5, 11-4
No. 4 Rachael Goh (P) def. Alisha Mashruwala (H) 3-2: 9-11, 11-2, 11-7, 6-11, 11-7
No. 5 Natasha Kingshott (H) def. Yarden Odinak (P) 3-2: 11-5, 6-11, 11-4, 5-11, 11-4
No. 6 Johanna Snyder (H) def. Britt Hebden (P) 3-1: 10-12, 11-6, 11-6, 11-8
No. 7 Anne Madeira (P) def. Cece Cortes (H) 3-2: 9-11, 11-8, 4-11, 11-5, 11-8
No. 8 Katherine O’Donnell (H) def. Christina Matthias (P) 3-2: 11-9, 11-8, 8-11, 5-11, 11-3
No. 9 Pia Trikha (P) def. Bethan Williams (H) 3-0: 13-11, 12-10, 11-7