Boston Wins Howe Cup over NYC
A Team Repeats [photo
The course of the final may well have been determined by the differing routes the two teams took in winning their semi-final meets. Boston 1 had a relatively pro forma 4-1 win over a Boston 2 squad three of whose members---namely Jeannie Blasberg, Orla Doherty and Susan Rafuse---had joined Kerr and Ansdell as members of the '03 championship line-up. Sue Lawrence defeated Wing at No. 3 to give Boston 2 their only point, and most of the other Boston 1 wins were accomplished in fairly routine fashion.
By contrast, New York's 3-2 semi-final over Philadelphia was an extraordinarily hard-won outcome, one which would have been reversed had Philly's Amy Milanek been able to convert the fourth-game 8-7 match-ball she held against Julie Lilien in the No. 2 match. The latter was able to swat that match-ball away on a tight drop shot, jump-starting her to a 10-8 tally in that game and a swift 6-0 lead in the fifth. Milanek, who had already dropped a five-gamer to Prockop in the Pools part of the tournament, rallied to 5-6 but Lilien ran it out from there.
Her teammate Dana Betts also rallied from two games to one down at No. 4 against former Penn star Helen Bamber, and these comeback victories, complemented by Meredeth Quick's virtual repeat of the domination she had demonstrated 12 days earlier in a U. S. Open qualifier match against Louisa Hall at No. 1, gave the New Yorkers enough points to survive the pair of wins notched by Philadelphians Dawn Gray and Rina Borromeo over Victoria Wardle and Blair Clark Schoeb in the Nos. 3 and 5 slots respectively. But these matches took a definite toll especially on Lilien and Betts, both of whom were facing tough opponents in Prockop (who got exceptional length throughout her 3-0 win) and Kerr respectively and neither of whom was able to muster up enough energy or intensity to prevail.
Nor did Wardle, the only entrant to compete in both singles and doubles, who lost in four to Wing, or Schoeb, who pressed Ansdell to a fifth game but was out-played down the stretch. Quick won in a competitive three over Elias, but by that time the team outcome had been decided.
WINS THE B FLIGHT, PHILADELPHIA THE C's
flight, making its debut in the 45-year history of this prestigious national
team tournament, went to the Philadelphia pairing of Sue Green and Wendy
Berry, who won in the final over Connecticut torch-bearers Icy Frantz
and Stephanie Barrett.
The weekend had plenty of heroines in addition to those who carried off the trophies. Chief among these were co-chairs Libby Welch and Zoe Brunson, who were ubiquitous, tireless, selfless in sitting out the competition so that they could better run this mammoth, four-club (Harvard, Princeton, Yale and University) undertaking and immeasurably dedicated to making the entire event the remarkable success it proved to be. This included the festivities at the Saturday night dinner at the Beacon Restaurant, which USSRA CEO Palmer Page attended and during which the Achievement Bowl "for notably contribution to the sportsmanship of squash and the advancement of the game" and the Feron's Sportsmanship Award were presented to USSRA Treasurer Blasberg and Kat Van Blarcom respectively.
in this annual celebration of women's squash the real stars were the participants
themselves, ALL of the participants, close to 200 of them, who paid their
$ 150 entry fee, competed in challenge matches for spots on their various
regional teams and played their hearts out all weekend. By late Sunday
afternoon everyone was exhausted but everyone as well was thrilled to
have been a part of one of the true highlight events of the USSRA season.
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