Teams looking ahead to big games or major tournaments often have a tendency to overlook their immediate opponents. The Yale men’s squash team is not one of these.
While the Collegiate Squash Association (CSA) Team Championships, which decides the national champion, is rapidly approaching, the No. 3 Bulldogs (10-2, 5-1 Ivy) took care of the business at hand by dispatching No. 11 Amherst 9-0 Saturday night at the Brady Squash Center.
“It is important to stay sharp, remain focused,” Quincy Fennebresque ’04 said. “Once you start looking ahead, you start to form bad habits. We didn’t do that yesterday.”
Coming off a tough 7-2 loss to Harvard last weekend — a defeat that cost the Elis the Ivy championship — the Bulldogs were able to bounce back in their final regular season contest. Not only did the Bulldogs win every match, they failed to drop a single game.
“After last weekend, it feels good to easily defeat a team,” Ryan Byrnes ’04 said. “It’s also good for the team’s attitude.”
This coming weekend, Yale will get a shot at redemption at the CSA Team Championships, slated to be held at the Brady Squash Center. Yale will likely face both Trinity — who handed Yale its first loss of the season 6-3 on Jan. 21 — and Harvard. Not only revenge will be at stake, but the coveted national title as well. In collegiate men’s squash, a team’s record determines its seeding in the CSA Team Championships; its performance in the tournament itself counts for the national title.
“Losing to Harvard was extremely difficult for the team, but we have gotten over it and are now focusing on our rematch with them in the CSA Championships,” Schwartz said.
Despite an overwhelming victory this past weekend, the Bulldogs continue to work hard.
“Each individual has analyzed where he faulted against Harvard the first time, and we have worked hard to regain our confidence and momentum going into this weekend,” Schwartz said.
Despite the disappointment of the Harvard and Trinity regular season losses, the Bulldogs understand that they will have to put their emotions behind them and focus on the ultimate goal.
“The losses were tough,” Fennebresque said. “But if someone gave me a choice of beating Trinity or Harvard in the regular season or for the national championship, obviously I would take the latter.”