Liza Bayless '16 Goes 5-0 to Start Second Semster, Team Looking Forward to NESCAC Championship
Posting a 5-0 mark over the opening five matches of the second semester for women's squash, Liza Bayless '16 (photo) raised her team-leading record for the year to 14-2, playing mainly from the #9 spot. She yielded just one game over the five outings in an impressive performance that included matches against Bowdoin, Mount Holyoke and Amherst, the three teams ranked just behind #17 Wesleyan to begin the week. As a team, Wesleyan posted wins over Mount Holyoke, 5-4, while sweeping both Haverford and Northeastern as no Cardinal surrendered a game over those last two matches. All three of the matches took place Sat., Jan. 19 during the Pioneer Valley Invitational. Wesleyan closed out play in the Pioneer Valley Invite Sun., Jan. 20 at Amherst against the Lord Jeffs. Only Bayless and #7 Claire Miller '15 came away winners as Amherst prevailed, 7-2. Amherst was one of the Cardinals' next opponent as well when they faced each other Sat., Jan. 26 during Little Three play at Williams. Wesleyan took on the Ephs to begin Little Three action.
Wesleyan began second-semester action at home Fri., Jan. 18 in a barn-burner against Bowdoin. Wesleyan won four of the first six matches completed, but the Polar Bears snagged victories in the final three matches to secure a 5-4 decision. Wesleyan winners included #2 Annie Maxwell '15, #6 Danielle Craig '13, #8 Kar-Anne Tan '14 and Bayless. Craig, Tan and Bayless all had wins at Mount Holyoke as well, along with #4 Grace Zimmerman '13 and Miller.
Wesleyan came up short against Williams, 9-0, as only Miller and Bayless secured a game from their Eph opponent. The match vs. Amherst was a little tighter than the first time with a final score of 6-3 in favor of the Lord Jeffs. Lauren Nelson '15 won a thrilling 3-2 decision at #3, taking the last two games, 17-15 and 11-8. Also winning for Wesleyan were Miller, 3-2 at #6, and Tan, 3-1 at #7.
Up next for the team is the hotly contested NESCAC Championship which starts Fri., Feb. 1 at Trinity. In the latest national rankings, Wesleyan has slipped to #18, which also puts it seventh among the 11 NESCAC squads. Seeding for the tournament will be announced during the week. The tournament continues Sat. and Sun., Feb. 2-3.