CLINTON, N.Y. - In a thrilling contest today at the NESCAC Championships, the second-seeded Tufts University women's squash team defeated #3 seed Williams College, 5-4, in the semifinals. The Jumbos, who are ranked No.11 in national polls, will head to the NESCAC Championship final match for the first time in program history.
In the back-and-forth contest, Williams took an early lead as Yu Quan Ng defeated Jumbo's Sanjana Vissapragada in the third position in straight sets (1-11, 4-11, 8-11). The next two matches played went the distance with each team earning a five-set victory. In the fourth position, Tufts freshman Aleezah Burhan defeated Kathryn Wright 11-8, 6-11, 10-12, 11-5, 11-9, and Jumbo senior Megan Chen battled in the ninth position, but came up short in a five-set loss to Nikita Srivastava.
Freshman Nieve Monderer had a convincing 3-0 victory (11-3, 11-3, 11-2) in the fifth position to tie the matches at 2-2. Freshman Riddhi Joshi fell in three close sets in the first position (9-11, 6-11, 9-11) before junior Isa Schneider (seventh position) and senior Diya Sanghi (sixth position) both won in three sets to put the Jumbos ahead 4-3. With a chance to seal the victory for the Jumbos sophomore Caroline Chin battled to a fifth set, but eventually was edged by Williams' Theresa Kay 9-11, 11-5, 3-11, 11-3, 9-11.
With everything tied at 4-4, the victory would be determined in the eighth position between two freshmen, Ellie Ackerman (pictured) for the Jumbos and Nora Brant from Williams. Ackerman fell in the opening set, but would come roaring back to win in four sets with scores of 9-11, 11-4, 11-5, 11-3.
The Jumbos improve to 8-3 on the season and will face #1 seed Trinity College in the NESCAC championship match being hosted at Hamilton College tomorrow, Feb. 13, at 12:00pm.