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.