By Ben Shapiro
CLINTON, N.Y. – Freshman Natasha Feenstra was the hero for the Wesleyan University women's squash team on Sunday, winning the deciding match with the score at 4-4 to help the Cardinals defeat host Hamilton College in the seventh-place match at the NESCAC Championships. The 21st-ranked Cardinal squad was pushed to the brink by the No. 22 Continentals, but for the second time this season, Wesleyan prevailed thanks, in part, to strong play at the top of the lineup.
- The match came down to Feenstra and Caitlin Stern, who coincidentally are both freshmen from Greenwich, Conn. After splitting the first two games, Feenstra pulled out an extremely tight third game to go up 2-1 overall. The two were tied at 8-8 in the fourth game, with Feenstra only three points from victory, but it was Stern who stormed ahead to win and push their match into a deciding fifth game. Things looked bleak for Wesleyan as Stern took a demanding 7-1 lead, but Feenstra stayed steady and worked her way back into the game, reeling off seven points in a row and eventually prevailing on her first match ball, completing the comeback and playing the role of hero with a dramatic 11-6, 7-11, 17-15, 8-11, 11-9 win.
- Fellow freshman Aditi Prasad and sophomore Nina Premutico, who both missed action yesterday due to illnesses, came back into the lineup and had key five-game victories earlier in the match. Prasad fought through a tough challenge from Charlotte Zonis to win 8-11, 11-7, 5-11, 11-6, 11-7 at No. 2, while Premutico defeated Katherine Bauer 11-6, 10-12, 11-7, 7-11, 11-6 at No. 6.
- Freshman Ananya Vir was efficient and helped to build some momentum for the Cardinals with a three-game win at No. 3 over Megan Grip 11-4, 11-9, 11-7.
- Senior Laila Samy also played a big role in the win, earning another one of Wesleyan's five points with her win at No. 1. Her unbeaten streak this season continued with an 11-3, 11-2, 11-8 win over Rafiatou Ouro Aguy.
- With its win over Hamilton, Wesleyan concludes its weekend in seventh place in the NESCAC and now looks ahead towards the CSA National Championship, which is scheduled for February 16-18 at Harvard.