Season Preview: Women’s Squash Aims to Maintain Kurtz Cup Placement

Season Preview: Women’s Squash Aims to Maintain Kurtz Cup Placement

AMHERST, Mass. – The Amherst women's squash team open their 2018-19 season when they host Ivy League, Princeton University at Davenport Squash Courts on Friday at 6:00 PM, aiming to build off of last year's advancement into the Kurtz Cup in the CSA Team Championships.

After claiming the Walker Cup (third division) during the 2016-17 campaign, the Mammoths added to that success by finishing 16th in the rankings last year, a goal set by head coach Peter Robson at the start of the season. This propelled the Purple & White into the Kurtz Cup, which awards the teams in the second division (ranks 9-16), leading the Mammoths to finilize 2017-18 with an overall record of 11-9. 

The team is built for the challenge, returning 11 players to the roster while bringing in a strong young corps of three new members. The Mammoths are led by Robson who enters his ninth season at the helm of the women's squash team, he is assisted by Graham Gal and Stuart Crawford.

MEET THE SENIORS

Rachael Ang '19, Emma Crowe '19, and Priya Sinha '19 will look to lead the team through their veteran presence. A CSA Scholar-Athlete, Ang accumulated an overall record of 10-5 last season after opening up with a four match win streak at the start of the year against Tufts University, Boston University, Connecticut College, and Northeastern University.

Crowe secured a dominant win against Mount Holyoke College in early February during her junior season, sweeping her opponent in the first three sets (11-3, 11-6, 11-2). Sinha rounds out the senior class with an impressive 9-3 overall record last year, recording a six game win streak during the middle portion of the season while also going undefeated at the seven, eight and nine spots. 

RETURNERS AND FIRST-YEARS

Caroline Conway '20, Katy Sabina Correia '20, Jenna Finkelstein '20 and Pierson Klein '20 headline the experienced junior class for the upcoming season. Conway ended her Sophomore campaign with a record of 8-4 at the fourth spot, while also winning all four of her matches at the fifth spot. Conway secured key wins in post-season action against Middlebury and Mount Holyoke where she swept both of her opponents.

Correia and Klein played an important role in the NESCAC Quarterfinals as they swept the first three sets against Tufts, which assisted in their advancement into the semifinals to take on Trinity College. Correia took the win by a score line of 11-5 in all three sets while Klein won 11-4, 11-4, and 11-6.

Finkelstein maintained a perfect record by going undefeated through all seven of her contests, posting a needed win against Trinity (11-4, 11-5, and 12-10) in the conference semifinals.  

Sophomores Catie Burkhart '21, Ashira Mawji '21, Riddhi Sampat '21 and Margaret Werner '21 return to the squad, aiming to build off their successes of their first season. Mawji recorded two decisive wins against Tufts University and Northeastern University during the first semester while Sampat notched a record of 4-0 at the one spot and went on a six match win streak to start her collegiate career. Werner solidifies the returners for Amherst as she enters her sophomore season after posting four key wins in the final post-season matches of last year.

The Amherst coaching staff brought in a talented first-year class consisting of Lilly Soroko '22, Keeley Osborn '22, and Emma Spencer '22 who will look to make an immediate positive impact for the team. Soroko was awarded the Most Improved Player of the Year GU19 by US squash as she went from an unseeded entrant to the final of the US Junior Silver Nationals.