The No. 4 Yale men’s squash team split this week’s matches against two teams ranked in the top 20 in the nation.
The No. 2 Trinity Bantams (11–0) overtook the Bulldogs on Wednesday with a 7–2 victory at Trinity’s Kellner Center. Last year, Yale (8–1, Ivy 2–0) defeated Trinity 5–4 in a historic victory, ending the Bantams’ 252-match winning streak. On Saturday, Yale turned its luck around and held onto its perfect record at home with a 9–0 win against No. 15 Navy (24–5).
“We expected Trinity to be a very good team, and they were,” Eric Caine ’14 said. “We expected them to have a lot of fans and a big home-court advantage, and they did. We learned a lot from the experience, and hopefully will get another chance to play them in the national championships.”
The Bulldogs and the Bantams entered Wednesday’s contest undefeated. All but one of the matches ended in three games or more. In the first round, Yale lost at the No. 6 and No. 9 positions. Richard Dodd ’13 at No. 3 kept the Elis in the fight with a four-game victory over Trinity’s Miled Zarazua.
Trinity was able to jump ahead in the second round after Yale team captain Hywel Robinson ’13 and Charlie Wyatt ’14 lost at the No. 2 and No. 8 spots, respectively. Rookie Sam Fenwick ’16 put one more tally up on the board for the Bulldogs with a win at No. 5 over Trinity’s Vrishab Kotian in three games. After winning all three matches in the last round, the Bantams maintained their 14-season winning streak at home.
“I think we did not play to our full potential [against Trinity],” Kenneth Chan ’13 said. “To some extent, losing at Trinity made us realize what we need to do to be competitive at the top and have a shot for the national title. This loss was a blessing in disguise since we will be able to take away many lessons from it.”
On Saturday, the Bulldogs swept the Midshipmen 9–0. Last year, Yale came out victorious 7–2 against Navy on the road.
The Elis only gave up three games in nine matches, six of which were won in three games. The lineup remained similar to that against the Bantams, with Chan, Robinson and Dodd at the No. 1, 2 and 3 spots, respectively. Fenwick has also been a consistent force on the court for the Elis after competing at the Welsh nationals and making it to the semifinals back at the beginning of January.
“Sam Fenwick has been an absolute rock so far this year,” Robinson said. “He shows great control over the ball and has the ability to mix the pace, breaking the rhythm of his opponent. He is a nightmare to play in challenge matches, and I’m happy I’ve managed to avoid him in practice thus far.”
The Bulldogs are set to continue Ivy League play at home this coming weekend against No. 1 Princeton on Saturday and No. 12 Penn on Sunday at Brady Squash Center in New Haven.