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Women's Squash Posts Perfect Opening Weekend, Which Includes Impressive Win Over #5 Stanford

Heading into its first weekend of the season, the Princeton women's squash coaches knew that the Tigers were in for a major early test against fifth-ranked Stanford, and they were excited to see how their squad would handle the moment after a strong and productive preseason.
Heading into its first weekend of the season, the Princeton women's squash coaches knew that the Tigers were in for a major early test against fifth-ranked Stanford, and they were excited to see how their squad would handle the moment after a strong and productive preseason.

Suffice to say, they were more than pleased.

Princeton capped a perfect 3-0 opening weekend with a 6-3 win over fifth-ranked Stanford and a 9-0 win over host George Washington Sunday in Washington, D.C. The victory over Stanford, which came one day after the Cardinal upset 2017 Howe Cup finalist Penn, should move the Tigers up the rankings early in the season.

The Stanford win didn't come easily, as Princeton expected. The Tigers needed a couple of five-game wins to get the job done, including one from senior co-captain Kira Keating. Playing at the No. 7 spot, Keating dropped the first and fourth game and then found herself playing deep into the fifth before finally claiming an 11-9 win. Sophomore Madison Soukup was also pushed to five games, though she was in full control of her finale and took an 11-3 win to finish her match at No. 8.

Freshmen Raneem El Torky and Emme Leonard both won their matches, while All-American Olivia Fiechter continued her strong start with a 3-0 win at No. 1 over Casey Wong. Junior Kate Feeley continued her strong play in team competition — she went 3-0 in the 2017 Howe Cup to end her sophomore season — with a sweep at the No. 9 spot.

Princeton will be off for Thanksgiving week, but will make its home debut Dec. 2 against Williams College.

Princeton 6, Stanford 3
1 – Olivia Fiechter (P) d. Casey Wong 6, 7, 8
2 – Raneem El Torky (P) d. Tara Shannon 6, 7, 10
3 – Chloe Chemtob (S) d. Samantha Chai (10), 3, 9, 9
4 – Caroline Neave (S) d. Morgan Steelman 4, 9, 4
5 – Emme Leonard (P) d. Sumrin Mudgil 9, (9), 7, 3
6 – Christina Huchro (S) d. Isabel Hirshberg 5, (6), 3, 5
7 – Kira Keating (P) d. Sarah Bell (3), 8, 4, (9), 9
8 – Madison Soukup (P) d. Lucy Rowe 8, (1), 2, (9), 3
9 – Kate Feeley (P) d. Anna Marie Manning 7, 5, 9
Princeton 9, George Washington 0
1 – Olivia Fiechter d. Zoe Foo Yuk Han 9, 4, 5
2 – Raneem El Torky d. Mary Jo Mahfood (8), 9, 3, 9
3 – Samantha Chai d. Abigail Shonrock 4, 4, 6
4 – Emme Leonard d. Emma Tryon 7, 7, 5
5 – Isabel Hirshberg d. Zuha Nazir 3, 6, 3
6 – Madison Soukup d. Engy Elmandouh 8, (8), 8, 8
7 – Kate Feeley d. Arunachiam Vedikammeyamai 7, 2, 9
8 – Mia Rosinin d. Haley Hunt 8, 6, 4
9 – Camille Price d. Ginger Sands 7, 2, 7

Raneem El Torky: When I was down 10-3 in the third game, I just stopped worrying about the result and focused on improving my game. I didn't give up and took it point by point and was able to come back from behind and win.

Madison Soukup: During our second match today, I played Engy El Mandouh at the number 6 spot. I was feeling pretty slow during the warmup because I had a five game match in the morning; however, I started off the match with a few long rallies to make sure I was moving. Engy was a strong player who was very aggressive when the ball was left slightly in the middle, so I focused on hitting my targets in the back of the court before shooting to the front two corners. I played with a really strong mental game, and I knew that I could outrun her even though I had a tough match before. After losing the second game, I redirected my energy on making sure I established my length and that I jumped on any opportunity to attack short or deep. Sticking to this strategy allowed me to win in four tough games. Overall, I think the team did a great job refocusing our energy after beating Stanford. We walked on court ready to play again, despite the fact we only had 30 minutes between the two matches. It's a great day to be a Tiger. The entire team fought fiercely until the end.

Olivia Fiechter: Stanford's team continues to get stronger and stronger each year and after a huge win against Penn yesterday, we knew they were going to show up with a lot of confidence today and eager for another win. But everyone maintained a really high intensity level throughout their matches and fought so hard for every point, so I could not be prouder of the team! I lost to Casey last year in a tight 4 game match so knew it was going to be tough but I just really tried to focus on slowing the pace down and using my hold to disrupt her rhythm, which fortunately worked! I had never played Zoe before but knew she was a strong and experienced player going into it. I tried to use the first game to figure out what would be most effective against her and from there on out just focused on applying pressure with my length and volleying as much as possible to stay in front of her. It feels great to get through a long weekend with three wins and I can't wait to continue building back my strength as the season progresses!

Samantha Chai: Our team played really well in our second match today, especially given that we only had about 30 minutes after our Stanford match before we played GW. Any concerns about the lively courts were put aside and we're really thrilled to have won all our matches this weekend.

Kira Keating: Heading into the match against Stanford today the team was excited to take them on after their upset against Penn.  We understood that each match was going to be a tough fight and that each of us was going to have to show up and give full effort. Everyone was so excited and ready to give their all on court and it really showed.  After the 6-3 victory against Stanford, we had a quick turn around to play GW.  It was a terrific match and each of the players really stepped up to win confidently and bring us to a 9-0 victory and an overall weekend of 3 wins and no losses.

Emme Leonard: Prior to the match starting, I was very excited to compete in my first official match representing Princeton women's squash. The team has been working very hard over the past couple of weeks, and we were all eager to get on court and implement the things we have been working on and to compete. Stanford has a very strong team, especially with the new freshman recruits, and they had a great win yesterday against Penn. Stanford's number 5 player, Sumrin Mudgil, is a strong player and I knew I had to volley well and get good length in order to be successful. Luckily, I played well, resulting in a 3-1 win.

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