NEW YORK - The Columbia women's squash team will begin 2014 taking on two of the Dunlop Women's College Squash Association's top 10 teams this weekend. On Saturday, Jan. 11, the Lions will travel to New Haven, Conn. to face No. 5 Yale. On Sunday, Jan. 12 Columbia will compete against another Ivy League foe in No. 9 Brown.
REYNA PACHECO Q&A
Q: With a 1-1 start this season, what can you tell me about this year’s team that you have learned early?
A: This year’s team is a lot stronger than last year and Columbia is only going to get better. A lot about our training and our mentally has changed compared to last year. Our coaches are committed to not only having us physically stronger, but also mentally. They have made our team approach squash with a completely new level of professionalism and I believe that will continue to make our team stronger.
Q: You have a packed Ivy League weekend ahead with Yale and Brown on tap. What do you feel as a team and individually that you need to do to be successful on the road?
A: We have been working really hard this week at Cayman's. Not only has it helped us to bring us closer together as a team, but we have been pushed a lot physically. We will need to trust our training, stay calm, stay smart and confident. Individually, I think I will just need to trust my skills and play with tunnel vision (focused).
The Bulldogs have been one the most impressive teams in the country this season collecting wins in dominant fashion. Yale has shutout all its opponents to post a 4-0 mark, against No. 18 Amherst, No. 15 Williams, No. 14 Drexel and No. 13 Franklin & Marshall.
The Bears have jumped out to a 3-0 start to the season. No. 9 Brown downed both No. 21 Mount Holyoke and No. 28 Tufts in the team’s season openers. In their latest outing, Brown picked up its third straight home victory with a 7-2 defeat over No. 14 Drexel.