Women’s squash wins first ever Kurtz Cup

Media Credit: Aly Kruse | Staff Photographer

For the first time in program history, the women’s squash team can call themselves winners of the Kurtz Cup.

After upsetting No. 10 Brown in the semifinals, GW rallied from a 4-2 hole against Columbia in the championship match to grab the slim 5-4 victory. The two victories also boosted the Colonials’ national ranking from No. 11 to No. 9 – its highest end-of-season ranking in program history.

The Kurtz Cup is awarded to the B-Division Champions at the College Squash Association Team Nationals. Previously, GW had competed in the C-Division, earning that title in the 2009-2010 and 2011-2012 seasons.

First on the road to the trophy was a rematch with No. 14 Middlebury, who GW had defeated 7-2 in January. This time around, it was more of the same, as the Colonials won the top three matches, two in straight sets. Sophomore Emely Levyn clinched the 6-3 victory with her win at the No. 5 slot.

What lay ahead for the Colonials, though, seemed like a daunting task. Both Brown and Columbia had beat GW earlier this season, 6-3 and 7-2, respectively.

But two five-set victories from sophomore Alejandra Porras and senior Kelly Barnes gave the Colonials an early lead against Brown, and a No. 2 win from freshman Breanne Flynn propelled GW to avenge its early-season loss with the 5-4 win.

In its first-ever appearance in the B-Division Championships against Columbia, things didn’t look good early for the Colonials. With a win at the No. 8 slot, the Lions went up 4-2 and were leading in another. A win from senior Jackie Shea, though, brought GW within one, and a straight-sets victory from Porras tied it at 4.

It was all up to sophomore Eunice Tan, who responded under pressure with poise, winning the championship-clinching match 3-1.

The Colonials will compete next at the CSA Individual Championships in Philadelphia starting Friday.

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