W. SQUASH | Yale hosts No. 1 Crimson

Captain Alia Aziz ’10 in her win over Cornell’s Shivangi Paranjpe on Jan. 16. Aziz and the Elis will host Harvard this Saturday at 1 p.m.
Captain Alia Aziz ’10 in her win over Cornell’s Shivangi Paranjpe on Jan. 16. Aziz and the Elis will host Harvard this Saturday at 1 p.m. Photo by Alfonso Costa.

The Yale women’s squash team will be facing its toughest opponent of the season this Saturday when it welcomes an undefeated Harvard team seeking to win the Ivy League title.

The No. 5 ranked Bulldogs (9–3, 3–2 Ivy) will try to stop the No. 1 Crimson (8–0, 5–0 Ivy), who have only dropped a total of seven individual matches all season, for a combined mark of 65–7 across eight matches. After defeating defending national champion and No. 4 ranked Princeton 6–3 last week, Harvard clinched at least a share of the Ivy League title. The Crimson will now be looking to clinch the Ivy crown outright.

Head coach David Talbott is confident that his team, which is coming off an 8–1 victory against a struggling Brown team, will be mentally and physically prepared heading into Saturday’s match.

“The girls want to destroy Harvard’s season,” Talbott said. “Everyone is focusing on this coming weekend, and the team is anxious to see if we can try and upset [the Crimson]. Nobody is expecting us to beat them, so hopefully we can play relaxed with no pressure.”

As Harvard attempts to complete an undefeated season before heading into the Howe Cup on Feb. 26, Bulldog players said they are determined to win after losing to the Crimson by a score of 6–3 last season.

“Harvard is an incredibly deep team, but we are coming off a decisive victory against Brown,” Logan Greer ’11 said. “We definitely have confidence going into this Harvard match.”

Greer, who is currently ranked No. 6 in the country, will be facing the Crimson’s Laura Gemmel at the No. 1 position. Gemmel is ranked No. 3 and has yet to lose a match this year.

But Harvard’s depth extends beyond the No. 1 spot. The Crimson have not dropped a match at the No. 1, 5, 7, 8 or 9 positions all season.

Talbott said after the Brown victory that his team’s strength lies in Greer, Sarah Toomey ’11 and team captain Alia Aziz ’10, who have played at the No. 1, 2 and 3 positions, respectively, for the majority of the season.

“We feel that if we can take the top three spots, we have a good chance to win,” Talbott said.

The match begins on Saturday at 1 p.m. at the Brady Squash Center.

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