Beating Harvard is always fun. But beating Harvard twice in one night — that’s another story.
The Yale squash program saw its men’s and women’s teams pull off a sweep of the Crimson last night at the Brady Squash Center in front of a raucous home crowd. The men pummeled their opposition, 7-2, and the women took care of business, winning 6-3, to complete their regular seasons on a high note.
The men (11-2, 5-1 Ivy) came out firing on all cylinders to give the seniors their first victory against No. 3 Harvard (5-4, 3-3) in their college careers. The first four matches were all Eli victories, including two shutouts by No. 3 John Fulham ’11 and No. 6 Moshe Sarfaty ’08. Sarfaty, the team’s captain, put in an impressive performance in his final home match. The Israel native blanked Harvard’s J. Reed Endresen, 9-4, 9-6, 9-5.
“I feel like we all played really hard,” Sarfaty said. “We controlled the match and set the tone early. All the guys played with heart and guts.”
The toughest win for the fourth-ranked Bulldogs came in the No. 2 matchup between Aaron Fuchs ’10 and the Crimson’s Verdi DiSesa. After losing the match’s first two games, 5-9 and 0-9, Fuchs fought back to win the third game, 10-8, and finish DiSesa off in the final two — 9-0, 9-0 — to complete the comeback.
The Elis’ two losses came in the No. 1 and 5 matches, each by a score of 3-0. Max Samuel ’08 was defeated by Colin West, 9-4, 9-0, 9-0, and Ho Ming Chiu ’08 fell to Eliot Buchanan, 9-7, 9-6, 9-4.
The women (11-2, 4-2) also sent the Crimson home with a loss. The two Ivy foes were tied for No. 3 in the national rankings going into the matchup, and the match did not disappoint. The Bulldogs were able to win some close matches and come out on top against a reeling Crimson squad, which had lost three straight matches heading into last night.
The Bulldogs were able to get easy victories from their top three players — captain Miranda Ranieri ’08, Logan Greer ’11 and Sarah Toomey ’11 — each by a score of 3-1, but they needed two hotly contested matches to fall their way to secure the victory.
No. 6 Jessica Balderston ’09 swept Harvard’s Alexandra Zindman, but the match was not an easy triumph by any means, with each game proving an epic battle — 10-8, 9-6, 10-8. But the match at No. 9 proved to be the contest of the night. Elisabeth Hill ’08 defeated Cantab Sandra Mumanachit in five games — 0-9, 10-8, 9-4, 7-9, 9-7 — to clinch an Eli victory.
“We’re really happy with the win,” Toomey said. “Coach [Dave Talbott] told us that the guys and girls haven’t combined to win on the same night in a while.”
Next up for both squads is the Howe Cup national tournament. For the third-seeded men, the race for the national title begins tomorrow morning against sixth-seeded Penn in Cambridge. The women, still waiting for their official seeding after this weekend’s play, will most likely also receive the No. 3 seed and begin their quest Feb. 22 in New Jersey.