M. squash able to bear key absences

The men’s squash team continued its undefeated Ivy season with a win over Brown Saturday.

The Bulldogs (7-1, 5-0 Ivy) mauled the Bears (7-5, 0-4) 9-0 in front of an exuberant crowd at the Brady Squash Center.

The No. 3 Elis swept No. 9 Brown easily, despite playing without Julian Illingworth ’06, arguably the best player in college squash, and Trevor Rees ’06, another top Yale performer. The two were away for the weekend, playing in a tournament. Josh Schwartz ’05 moved up to No. 1 for the match, and most other Bulldogs were playing one or two positions above their normal spots.

Even though the Elis dominated, they gave the Bears due credit.

“We weren’t underestimating Brown,” captain Gavin Cumberbatch ’05 said. “We knew they were a good team, but we knew they weren’t too strong. So we used the match to test out some of the strategies we worked on in practice.”

The Bulldogs executed their strategy and played outstanding games all around, but the Bears were not exactly expecting a victory. Seven of nine Bulldog players won their matches 3-0, and the other two won 3-1.

“We knew it would be a tough match,” Brown sophomore Mark Goldberg said. “Yale is always a powerhouse. We did what we could, but I guess there’s not much more to say about a 9-0 match.”

The only match with any major drama came at the No. 2 slot. Moshe Sarfaty ’08, who usually plays at No. 4, staged a dramatic comeback to win the first game against Brown’s Daniel Petrie, ending the contest with an ace on game point. Sarfaty then dropped the second game, but came back to win the next two games and the match.

“The first game was really close,” Sarfaty said. “I was down 8-6, but then I really got into the game and tied the score. I wanted to win that game, so I gave 200 percent, and it worked. After the second game, things calmed down, and I was able to win the match.”

Saturday’s contest was a bittersweet occasion for the Eli seniors — it marked their last regular season home contest for Yale. Ranidu Lankage ’05 said that wanting to add another victory to the Bulldogs’ record was not the only reason he played so hard.

“It was my last match at home, so I just wanted to win it for the coach,” Lankage said. “It’s been a great four years, and I hope we can take home the Ivy crown this time.”

Yale will get a chance to dethrone Ivy champion Harvard next Saturday at “The Match” in Cambridge, Mass. The No. 2 Cantabs lost to No. 1 Trinity last week by a score of 8-1 — the same score the Bulldogs posted against the Bantams. Yale and Harvard look to be fairly evenly matched.

The Elis have been gearing up for the Harvard match all year, hoping that this is the year they will be able to bring an Ivy title back to New Haven.

“We know how much work we’ve done this season, and we’re extremely positive,” Cumberbatch said. “It’s always tough playing Harvard in Cambridge, but we’re focused. We’re going in with a lot of confidence, and everybody is pretty pumped.”

Moshe Sarfaty ’08 reaches for a backhand against Daniel Petrie Saturday at the Brady Squash Center. Sarfaty dropped the first game to Petrie but rebounded to come away with a 3-1 victory. The remaining Bulldogs also notched victories to sweep the Bears. With the win, the Elis remained undefeated in Ivy League play at 5-0.
Eric Seymour
Moshe Sarfaty ’08 reaches for a backhand against Daniel Petrie Saturday at the Brady Squash Center. Sarfaty dropped the first game to Petrie but rebounded to come away with a 3-1 victory. The remaining Bulldogs also notched victories to sweep the Bears. With the win, the Elis remained undefeated in Ivy League play at 5-0.

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