The No. 2 Yale men’s and women’s squash teams both had perfect starts to their seasons.
The teams blew out No. 12 Bates College on Saturday morning at the Brady Squash Center, 9–0. Earlier in the day, the men’s team swept aside No. 9 Penn 9–0, while the women’s team was the victor of a closely contested match against No. 5 Penn, 5–4.
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“It was important for the team to go out and set the tone for the season,” captain Naishadh Lalwani ’11 said.
The men’s team proved to be too much of a challenge for both Bates and Penn. Hywel Robinson ’13 led the team with a strong performance at the top spot, winning in straight sets against both of his one seed Bobcat and Quaker opponents.
“He had a pretty hard game,” Lalwani said. “Hywel played really well and all credit to him to play two tough matches in one day. It is a testament to how hard he works and he is definitely one of the hardest working guys on the team.”
The only trouble the team faced was when Lalwani and John Fulham ’11 dropped their opening games against Penn. However, both players came storming back and won their next three consecutive games to give Yale two match wins.
That afternoon, the Bulldogs faced the Bobcats, who posed less of a challenge to the team. No player on the Yale team dropped a set en route to the 9–0 victory. Freshman Eric Caine ’14 dropped the only match of the weekend, but it did not count for the overall score because it was a match between the two tenth seeds.
Lalwani said that Caine put on a strong performance despite the result. The freshman won the first two sets, but lost the next three in tiebreaks.
“It was one of the closest matches you’ll see in squash,” Lalwani said. “He got unlucky with the tie breaks and it was just a small difference.”
The women’s team faced more of a challenge than the men did this weekend against the Quakers who beat them last year 8–1. The Elis used their depth to its advantage to find a way to beat Penn as Yale won the six through nine spots. Those wins, paired up with a dominant performance from captain and top of the ladder Logan Greer ’11, who won in straight sets, secured victory for the Bulldogs
“The depth in our lineup made the difference,” Greer said. “In previous years, our top was really strong. But, this year, due to the strong freshmen class, we have great depth on the lineup.”
The second match of the day posed no challenge to a deep Yale team that brushed aside the Bobcats 9–0 and did not drop a set.
“We started our season undefeated,” Greer said. “[Penn] is one of the top teams in the Ivy League, and it is good for us going into January.”
The only defeat the Elis faced this weekend was against Bates’s Emily Russell. Russell defeated Catherine Morris ’12 in three straight sets, but the result did not count for the match score.
Looking forward, according to both captains, the matches were important for a successful start to the season.
“We need to get used to compete more intensely and need to learn to practice the way we play,” Greer said.
Both teams have finished their play for the year and will return next year to face Amherst and Williams on Jan. 7.