When Gemma Walton swept aside her 2019 opponent in squash, it was purely for pride. Coventry’s failure to submit a women’s team made the result academic, and thus her efforts went unrecorded in Warwick’s historic 59-13 Varsity win. Thankfully, although only two blue-shirted players arrived at the Sport and Wellness Hub, we got an official women’s squash fixture this year.
And what an afternoon it was. Warwick could only manage a draw overall, but both Sophia Zhang and Loshene Pukazhendi played fantastically for the Reds, entertaining fans on an action-packed Saturday afternoon.
Elphick had come to play with a deft straight drive and a variety of recovering shots
Zhang’s 2nd seed match against Coventry’s Rebekah Elphick was an ever-changing battle, with both players fighting back from deficits in the first two games. Zhang had the moves on her opponent for much of the tie, but needed a two-point gap to secure Game 2 12-10. Elphick had come to play with a deft straight drive and a variety of recovering shots. By the final game, though, Zhang had the better of play. It wasn’t until gaining six points that the Warwick player dropped anything.
The later game was a different story. Coventry’s top seed Paris Masters was rightly feared before arrival, and her 3-0 shutout rescued an overall draw for the visitors. Warwick’s Pukazhendi never gave up, though, taking eighteen total points from Masters, and twice tying up proceedings in the first game. Her shot power was high until the end. 3-0 doesn’t do her justice, but these competitive women’s squash fixtures were a spectacle to behold on our campus and other underrated highlight of Varsity 2020.