Trinity Women's Squash Opens Howe Cup Title Defense Against Cornell Friday

Women's squash team has a 15-1 record

Hartford, Conn., February 12, 2015 - The Trinity College Bantam women’s squash team, which has a 15-1 record after breezed through the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Championship Tournament by a combined score of 26-1 over the weekend, will look to defend its College Squash Association (CSA) National Team Championship (Howe Cup) title for the fourth time this weekend at Harvard University. The Bantams, which earned their ninth-straight NESCAC crown when it blanked Williams, 9-0, on Sunday, has the No. 3 spot in the CSA National Rankings having lost, 8-1, at Harvard on February 4 for its first setback in 18 matches. Trinity will open post-season play against the No. 6-seeded Cornell University Big Red (9-5) on Friday, February 13 at noon.

The Bantams, coached by Wendy Bartlett (31st season, 360-97), will face the winner of Friday’s match featuring No. 2-seeded Pennsylvania and No. 7-seeded Columbia in the CSA Semifinals on Saturday, February 14 at 1:30 p.m. if they win against Cornell, and the CSA Finals will take place on Sunday, February 15 at 1 p.m. The Howe Cup consists of the top eight teams in intercollegiate squash in a three-round, single elimination tournament. The other CSA Quarterfinal matches are top-seeded Harvard against No. 8-seeded George Washington, and No. 4-seeded Princeton against No. 5-seeded Yale. Trinity shut out Cornell, 9-0, in Upstate New York on January 25, and the Bantams upset top-seeded Harvard in last year's Howe Cup Finals at Princeton to win their third national title. Trinity also won the Howe Cup in 2002 and 2003.

Trinity has a combined individual match record of 124-20 in its 16 matches this year, including wins over four of the eight teams in the tournament. Senior Chanel Erasmus (Capetown, South Africa) leads Trinity with a 13-1 individual mark, while junior Kanzy El Defrawy (Cairo, Egypt) is 12-1 at the top of the lineup, and sophomore Anna Kimberley (Colchester, England) is 11-1. First-years Raneem Sharaf (Gize, Egypt), Salma El Defrawy (Cairo, Egypt), Julia LeCoq (Creteil, France), and Karolina Holinkova (Krnov, Czech Republic) are all members of the Bantam starting lineup with a combined record of 47-9, while senior co-captains Natalie Babjukova (Prague, Czech Republic) and Ashley Tidman (Lamor-Plage, France) are 26-4 this winter and 115-33 in their respective careers between them. Sophomore Alexia Echeverria (San Salvador, El Salvador) is 19-0 in two seasons, and junior Sachika Balvani (Mumbai, India) is 4-1 since coming back from an injury a few weeks ago.