Less than a week after earning its first Ivy League season victory of the season against Dartmouth, the Yale women’s squash team (3–1, 1–1 Ivy) returns to action at home this weekend against some of the top teams in the country.
The Elis, ranked No. 4 in the College Squash Association’s Dec. 8 national rankings, will face two top-10 teams, Cornell (2–3) and Stanford (3–2), which are ranked No. 5 and No. 6, respectively.
Head coach David Talbott is confident that the Bulldogs will come ready to play this weekend, citing their recent success as a solid foundation for future matches.
“We can build off the results from this past week against Dartmouth,” Talbott said. “We [as a team] have rebounded well since the Penn loss [8–1 on Dec. 5]. We are excited to play Stanford, who beat Princeton this season, but lost to Cornell. Stanford is certainly an up-and-coming program.”
Talbott jokes that he is “pretty close” with Stanford’s head coach, who happens to be his brother, Mark Talbott.
Mark, who was ranked the World’s No. 1 squash player for 13 years from 1983-’95, coached the Yale women’s squash team from 1998-’04, at which point in time his brother was coaching the Yale men’s squash team. During the last season of his tenure, Mark helped the lady Bulldogs earn a national championship by defeating reigning champions Trinity College.
After resigning from his position at Yale, Mark Talbott became the Director of Squash at Stanford University, where he is currently the head coach of the women’s varsity team and the men’s club team.
David Talbott was an accomplished professional player as well, climbing as high as No. 12 in North America.
“I couldn’t beat him [Mark] as a player, so I want to beat him as a coach,” David Talbott said. “He left me a great team, and we won two national championships with the players that he had recruited, so I thank him for that. We [as brothers] are very competitive, and I don’t want to lose.”
Yale’s first match of the weekend, however, comes against Bates (7–2) on Friday, Jan. 15 at 4 p.m. at the Brady Squash Center in Payne Whitney Gymnasium. Coach Talbott and the Elis will have their chance to defeat Stanford and Ivy League foe Cornell on Saturday, followed by matches against Mount Holyoke (4–2) and Northeastern (2–6) on Sunday.