M. SQUASH | Elis close in on title

The men’s squash team hopes to defend its Ivy League title with a win over Harvard next Sat.
The men’s squash team hopes to defend its Ivy League title with a win over Harvard next Sat. Photo by Florian Koenigsberger.

The Yale men’s squash team moved to within one win of their second consecutive Ivy League title after defeating Brown on Saturday at the Brady Squash Center.

The No. 2 Bulldogs (12–1, 5–0 Ivy) faced little resistance from the No. 12 Bears (6–5, 0–4), who have yet to defeat an Ivy League opponent. The Bulldogs will need to beat No. 6 Harvard next Saturday in order to stayed undefeated and defend their Ancient Eight title.

“To win 9–0 is always a good feeling,” captain Naishadh Lalwani ’11 said. “Brown is an Ivy team, so all our other wins would count for nothing if we slipped up on Saturday.”

Last year, the Elis defeated Brown 9–0. This year the story was similar and the Bulldogs looked ready to compete from the first match that went on court.

One of the hardest fought games of the week took place at the No. 1 position between Lalwani and Brown’s Brad Thompson.

Lalwani got off to a quick start in the first game and took a 3–0 lead. Thompson battled back and eventually tied the score at 8–8. With momentum on his side, the Thompson went up 8–10 and had two game points.

But Lalwani, the hero of the match against Princeton last Saturday, did not let the pressure affect his play as he tied the score at 10–10. After a long rally, Thompson took the next point for another chance at the game win; however, the Bulldog captain denied that opportunity for the third time and won the next two points to take the first game, 13–11.

In the next two games, Brown was unable to challenge the fitter Lalwani who varied his shots and moved his opponent around the court, winning 11–4 and 11–2.

The matches at the No. 6 and No. 7 positions were the only ones to go for more than three games. Yale won both of those matches comfortably in four games.

“We played our best and everyone was focused, well prepared, and got the job done,” John Roberts ’12 said. “[The match against Harvard] is our last conference game of the year. This week is going to be key. We have not thought of nationals, we are just thinking about this game.”

“[The win] definitely sets us up well for Harvard next Saturday, as we will be going in with some momentum,” Lalwani added.

The Bulldogs will next face No. 6 Harvard on Saturday. The contest is set to begin at 4 p.m. at the Crimson’s courts.

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