With Collingwood already at the top of the women’s squash Premiership League, their match on Saturday was a chance to cement their place. Butler, on the other hand, down in seventh had the opportunity to move up. The matches were played first to nine points, best of three games.
Butler’s Sophie Wilson and Collingwood’s Alison Smith started the afternoon well with Alison playing good shots into the back corners and Sophie matching these with lithe returns. Both played encouraging points, but Alison led Collingwood to victory with two sets, both 9-2.
The second match was closer with Collingwood’s Rubi Kuruvilla winning 9-6, 9-4. Ariane Camacho of Butler had an excellent serve and very good use of the full court but some of her more ambitious shots let her point tally slide slightly.
Rubi’s use of gentle hits off the front wall was distinctive and she played most of her shots a little safer than Ariane, which eventually won her both games. However, had Ariane had a slightly better day she would have undoubtedly been more successful.
Match three saw Butler’s Fiona Carlisle sustaining a nasty injury with a swollen ankle and bloody knee. She admirably continued with play, but lost to Collingwood’s Laura Bridgstock 1-9, 3-9.
Laura played extremely strong and intelligent squash with consistently hard to return serves. Fiona’s agility served her well and she made remarkable transitions from one side of the court to the other. It was, however, a clear win for Laura.
The 2nds played the fourth match of the afternoon with Collingwood’s captain Kat Moore playing Butler’s Alex Dockreay. Kat’s power, consistency and sharp play led her to a near effortless victory of 9-0, 9-1.
Alex played a good game nonetheless and hit some good drop shots to the front of the court, but was outmatched by Kat’s strength.
Finally the teams’ 1sts played the fifth match of the afternoon, which was exciting in its pace, vigour and tactic. Butler’s captain Victoria Jackson played with energy and used the court fully. However she was beaten 1-9, 4-9 by Emily Wilson of Collingwood. Both displayed some exceptional shot placement, but it was Emily who controlled the court for the majority of the game with outstanding power and use of space.
She, also, anticipated Victoria’s returns with great accuracy and this won her the match. Both players showed vivacity, speed and skill, creating a brilliant atmosphere to top off the afternoon.
Overall, Collingwood’s whitewash triumph has confirmed their position at the top of the squash league as they remain ahead of Van Mildert in second place. Butler, also, remain in their position at seventh but have shown clear potential to go further with a bit more training.