The Yale men’s squash team continued their winning streak this weekend, taking down Western Ontario (3-2) and narrowly beating Cornell (6-2, Ivy 2-2). On Friday, the Elis secured a sound victory, 8-1, against the Mustangs before defeating the Big Red, 5-4.
“With Western Ontario, you never know what you’re going to get,” said captain Ethan Oetter ’09. “They always have tons of talent.”
The match against Western Ontario allowed the Bulldogs to get used to the courts and warm up before their match against Cornell the next day. The Elis won all but the No. 1 match.
The Big Red, however, posed more of a challenge for the Bulldogs on Saturday.
“[Cornell is] strong from the bottom of the ladder all the way to the top,” Ryan Dowd ’12 said.
In the past three years, Cornell developed a strong and highly competitive team to become No. 4 in the country. This season, for the first time since its squash team was created 47 years ago, Cornell defeated Harvard, 6-3.
“This past match was similar to last week’s game against Rochester,” Oetter explained.
Like the Rochester match, the Bulldogs barely scraped out a 5-4 win that was made possible by come-from-behind victories.
Colin Campbell ’09, playing in the No. 8 position, and Dowd, playing at No. 7, narrowly defeated their opponents 3-2.
After four games, Campbell and his opponent, Steven Peever, were tied 2-2. Campbell managed to come out on top in the fifth game, 9-3.
“Colin played his best squash all year,” CJ Plimpton ’11 said. “[He] pulled out a victory that Cornell thought was a guaranteed win for them.”
Dowd dropped his first two games, 10-8 and 9-5, and fell behind in his third. He managed to struggle back for a 10-9 win in the third game and crushed his opponent, McKay Claghorn, 9-1 and 9-3 for an overall victory.
“Ryan showed a lot of determination,” Plimpton said. “It really says a lot about how composed he is on court, despite being a freshman.”
In addition to helping the team continue its streak, Dowd’s triumph continued his own, personal winning record. Dowd and fellow freshman, John Roberts ’12, have not dropped a match this season.
“It’s incredible that John and Ryan have performed so well,” said Oetter.
Individually, the Bulldogs are gearing up for their match against Trinity this week. Trinity, which has not lost a match in 10 years, has an entirely international team.
“[They] really have some players who are pro-caliber,” head coach Dave Talbott said. “We’re the underdogs going in for sure.”
“Even though we just scraped by the skin of our teeth against Cornell, it’s nice to go to Trinity undefeated,” Oetter explained. “And thank God we did, otherwise that six-hour ride home would not have been good.”
The Elis are back on the court at Trinity on Wednesday.