Sports

Lone home match proves successful for Stanford squash

Since becoming an official intercollegiate sport, Stanford's women's squash team has consistently ranked among the top eight in the nation.

Since its inception for the 2006-07 season (it was previously a club sport) home matches have been rare.

Tuesday, No. 7 Stanford beat visiting Hamilton College, 8-1, in its first match on campus in three years.

"I thought they did well," Stanford coach Mark Talbott said. "They were a little rusty, coming off a two-week break for vacation. They managed to win, which is the important thing. They have some tough matches coming up."

The Cardinal played in front of a packed house as members of the community, student body and athletic department staff attended in support of the squash team in its only home match of the year.

"It was so much fun," Stanford senior Julia Hemmendinger said. "We didn't really know what to expect because we hadn't done this in a while, but it exceeded our expectations. So many people from the athletic department came out and we had a lot of our friends here. It was really a blast and created a lot of energy out here."

Due to the scarcity of programs on the west coast, Stanford travels to the Northeast for the majority of its matches.

"It was fun," said Talbott. "We don't play many home matches because 95 percent of the teams are on the East Coast. "To have a home match was fun for them. A lot of their friends came out which was great for them and we had a lot of administrators showed up to which was really nice."

Junior Madeleine Gill was impressive in the No. 1 match against Hilary Gray of Hamilton. Gill won the first set, 11-4, and then cruised in her final two 11-2, 11-1 to claim the win. Sophomore Carolyn Gillette also won with ease, downing Hillary Kolodner at No. 7 by an 11-3, 11-2, 11-4 count.

At the No. 4 position, freshman Bailey Bondy made her collegiate debut with a three-set victory. She defeated Hannah Coffin 11-6, 11-5, 11-8 to begin her career 1-0. Bondy had recently returned from an injury that kept her out of the squad's first three matches of the year.

"It was really great and we had a really great crowd come out which made it even better," said Bondy. "Even though I was coming off an injury it was nice to play my first match in front of the home crowd and come away with a win."

Hemmendinger, one of two Stanford players on the last team to play at The Farm, was moved up to No. 3 in the lineup for this match. She dropped her first set, 11-9, but rallied in fine fashion with scores of 11-1, 11-8, 11-8 to take the match in four sets.

Also earning victories on the day for the Cardinal were Ally Huchro at No. 5, Sarah Haig at No. 6, Ariel Posner at No. 8, Julia Olson at No. 9 and Francesca Fleischer in a match that didn't count towards the team score but will go as a win on her individual record.

Stanford travels to New Haven, Conn. for matches between Jan. 24-26 against No. 5 Yale, No. 8 Dartmouth, No. 10 Bates and No. 2 Trinity.

— Stanford Athletics

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