Perfect no longer.
The men’s squash team suffered its first loss of the season Wednesday night in front of a boisterous Brady Squash Center crowd, falling 8–1 against perennial national champion Trinity, which extended the longest winning streak in intercollegiate varsity athletics history to 211.
Leading up to the match, the Bulldogs were hopeful about their chances this season as compared to previous years.
“This is the strongest team I’ve been on,” captain Todd Ruth ’10 said last week. “You never know who’s going to have a good day or a bad day.”
And the Bulldogs put up a fight. Against most other teams in college squash, the No. 1 Bantams (9–0) are not tested, but the No. 3 Elis (8–1, 3–0 Ivy) posed more of a challenge.
The day started out close with a win in the No. 9 position by Robby Berner ’12, who got the best of Trinity’s Reinhold Hergeth, winning 3–0.
“[Berner] played really great,” John Fulham ’11 said. “He just grinded it out playing solid squash. I think he wanted it more.”
Throughout the night, the Elis pushed the Bantams to the limit. Naishadh Lalwani ’11, John Roberts ’12, Hywel Robinson ’13 and Ruth pushed their opponents to four games each in the No. 7, 5, 3 and 2 positions, respectively.
Ruth burst onto the court and took a substantial lead over his opponent, Parth Sharma, in the first game, which he won 11–9. But Sharma then came back to dominate Ruth, 11–6, 11–1 and 11–8, for the 3–1 victory.
In the No. 6 sport, Ricky Dodd ’13 and Trinity’s Antonio Diaz Glez played an exhausting five-game match. Dodd started off strong, winning the first two games but Diaz Glez rallied to win the match’s final three games and take the match, 3-2.
“[Dodd] started off so soundly,” Rusty Feldman ’10 said. “It was amazing how well he played and how much he wanted to win, he just came up short. It was a really high level of play, everything you would expect from No. 6 players from Yale and Trinity.”
At No. 1, Kenny Chan ’12 faltered in his first game, falling 11–2. Although he rallied in the second game, the Bantams’ Baset Chaudhry finished with a 3–0 victory.
Wednesday night’s match marked the 211th consecutive victory for the Bantams.
“The Trinity match is always an electric atmosphere,” Feldman said. “They bus people down, so everyone is screaming and really excited.”
Instead of focusing on Wednesday night’s loss, the Bulldogs are looking ahead to Princeton, which, they say, they always considered to be the most important match of the season. No. 2 Princeton is the main obstacle for the Elis in their quest for an Ivy League title.
“Our match against Princeton will determine how successful our season was,” Feldman said. “No one on the team has ever beaten Princeton in our Yale careers. Our goals this year were always to challenge Trinity and to beat Princeton.”
Before they take on the Tigers on Jan. 30, the Elis face Navy on Jan. 23 in Annapolis, Md.
Correction: Jan. 21, 2010
An earlier version of this article misreported the results of Ricky Dodd’s ’13 first two games, which he won.