Middlebury fell to #12 Franklin & Marshall by a 6-3 score on Saturday evening in the Kurtz Cup consolation semifinal at the CSA Women's Squash National Team Championship. The event is being hosted by Yale at the Brady Squash Center. The 15th-ranked Panthers (8-9) return to action Sunday morning at 11:30 a.m. for the 15th/16th-place match against #16 Virginia. Sunday's match marks the second meeting between the two teams, as the Panthers defeated the Cavaliers by an 8-1 score on January 13, 2007 at Williams.
The Panther victories on Saturday were posted in five-game matches by Zoe Carey at #4, Alexa Comai in the fifth spot and Lucy Bostwick at #6. Carey dropped the opening game to F&M's Lauren Johnston 11-6, but rebounded to claim the next two games 11-1 and 11-7. Johnston won game four 11-4, but Carey earned the team point with an 11-5 victory in game five (6-11, 11-1, 11-7, 4-11, 11-5).
At #5, Franklin & Marshall's Dulakshi Elikewela raced out to a 2-1 advantage, but Comai stormed back to win games four and five for the triumph (11-8, 7-11, 3-11, 11-8, 12-10).
The match of the day was produced by Bostwick and F&M's Andreina Benedith in the sixth spot on the ladder as four of the five games needed extra points. Bostwick won the initial game 13-11, but Benedith tied the match with a thrilling 20-18 win in game two, and took a 2-1 lead with an 11-7 victory in game three. Bostwick earned her second win of the weekend with 14-12 and 12-10 wins in games four and five (13-11, 18-20, 7-11, 14-12, 12-10).
The Diplomats picked up three-game victories at #1, #7 and #8. Middlebury's Tiffany Hau took the third game at #2 to pull to within one (2-1), but Fiona Murphy gave F&M the team point by winning the fourth game (11-6, 11-5, 9-11, 11-3).
Hope Matthews posted an 11-8 win in the first game for the Panthers at #9 before Jazmin Matos rattled off three-straight game victories (8-11, 11-9, 11-8, 11-6), while Middlebury's Beatrijs Kuijpers won games one and two at #3, but Emily Caldwell turned things around with three-consecutive game wins for Franklin & Marshall (11-13, 6-11, 11-5, 11-7, 11-5).