NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- The No. 19 Bates women's squash team finished nationals in style with a dramatic 5-4 victory over No. 17 Amherst on Sunday to take home the Walker Cup.
Amherst had won the previous two Walker Cups before Bates defeated them on Sunday. This marks the Bobcats' first Walker Cup (C Division) title in program history and their first division title of any kind since 2006.
Down 4-2, and needing a spark, the Bobcats (12-10) got just what they needed from Vicky Arjoon '19 (Georgetown, Guyana) at the No. 2 position. She dropped her first set against Kimberly Krayacich before taking set two 12-10. After that she cruised to a 3-1 (9-11, 12-10, 11-6, 11-3) win to cut the deficit to 4-3.
Meanwhile senior co-captain Lauren Williams (Bulawayo, Zimbabwe) dropped her first set as well against Ericka Robertson at the No. 4 position. Williams proceeded to rally and take set two in dramatic fashion by a score of 14-12. After that, she settled in and won the final two sets to even the match at four with a 3-1 (8-11, 14-12, 11-6, 11-4) victory.
At the No. 1 position, first-year Kristyna Alexova (Boskovice, Czech Republic) swept Rachael Ang 3-0 (11-7, 11-3, 11-5). Her match ended just after Williams' match concluded and Alexova's victory clinched the 5-4 win for Bates. It's Alexova's 12th straight victory for the Bobcats.
Amherst (11-6) got off to a quick start in the match, jumping out to a 4-2 lead behind three sweeps and a tight five-set win for Taryn Clary at the No. 5 position.
But junior co-captain Emma Dunn (Bellevue, Wash.) and Blair Weintraub '18 (New York, N.Y.) kept the Bobcats in the match. Dunn knocked off Haley McAtee 3-2 (11-5, 11-8, 6-11, 7-11, 11-7) at the No. 3 position, surviving McAtee's rally attempt. Weintraub got the better of Amherst's Corri Johnson for the second time this season, winning 3-0 (11-5, 11-4, 11-9) at the No. 8 position.
The win avenges a 7-2 loss to Amherst back on January 17 at the Pioneer Valley Invitational. Despite it being a rematch on paper, the only two players to square off on Sunday who also faced each other back in January were Weintraub and Johnson. This time they played at the No. 8 position instead of the No. 9 position. The new-look lineups helped the Bobcats get the win and take home the Walker Cup.
While this concludes the team's season, a number of Bobcats will participate in the College Squash Association Individual Nationals beginning on March 4 in Stamford, Conn.
Bates 5, Amherst 4
Feb. 21, 2016 at New Haven, Conn.
1. Kristyna Alexova (B) def. Rachael Ang (A) 11-7, 11-3, 11-5
2. Vicky Arjoon (B) def. Kimberly Krayacich (A) 9-11, 12-10, 11-6, 11-3
3. Emma Dunn (B) def. Haley McAtee (A) 11-5, 11-8, 6-11, 7-11, 11-7
4. Lauren Williams (B) def. Ericka Robertson (A) 8-11, 14-12, 11-6, 11-4
5. Taryn Clary (A) def. Charlotte Cabot (B) 11-4, 13-15, 11-7, 8-11, 11-3
6. Priya Sinha (A) def. Hannah Conner (B) 11-6, 11-3, 11-6
7. Khushy Aggarwal (A) def. Molly Brooks (B) 11-3, 11-5, 11-2
8. Blair Weintraub (B) def. Corri Johnson (A) 11-5, 11-4, 11-9
9. Mae Cromwell (A) def. Cata Robert (B) 11-9, 11-4, 11-2