The No. 2 Yale men’s squash team (11-3, 5-2 Ivy) lost the fight for the Ivy League title Monday as it fell to the No. 3 Harvard Crimson in Cambridge.
The Bulldogs made the trip to compete against the Crimson (15-2, 6-1 Ivy) in a match that would decide the Ancient Eight Champion. Yale put up a valiant effort against a heavily stacked Harvard team but fell just short in a tight 6–3 outcome.
“We were expecting a tough match in a tough environment,” Eric Caine ’14 said. “That’s exactly what we got, and it’s to be expected — it’s Harvard.”
The first round of matches each took at least four or more games to decide. The No. 9 position was decided first with a 3–1 win for Harvard’s Matt Roberts over Joseph Roberts ’15. The Bulldogs retaliated with a victory at No. 6 by Zachary Leman ’16, who won in five sets. Richard Dodd ’13 brought Nigel Koh to five games at No. 3, but fell in a tough fight.
Entering the second round of matches, the Crimson were up 2–1. The Bulldogs were able to leap ahead with two wins. At No. 5 Sam Fenwick ’16 defeated Harvard’s Tyler Olson in five long games. At No. 8 Charlie Wyatt ’14 broke Jason Michas’s perfect record this season with a 3–2 win. Harvard was able to tie up the match 3–3 with a win at No. 2 over team captain Hywel Robinson ’13 in four games.
“The team played hard and left everything on court,” Dodd said. “We couldn’t have asked for more from the guys. Harvard was up for the match too though, and although it was 6–3, we were unlucky not to see some matches go our way.”
Going into the third round of play 3–3, the outcome of the day lay on the No. 1, No. 4 and No. 7 positions. At No. 1, Kenneth Chan ’13 fell first in the only 3–0 loss of the match to Harvard’s nationally ranked No. 1 Ali Faraq. Faraq has been undefeated so far this season and is favored to win the College Squash Association Individual Championship.
After Chan fell, the last two matches had to be won by Yale for an overall victory and an Ivy championship. Caine fell in four games to Harvard’s Zeke Scherl at No. 7. Neil Martin ’14 was the last man standing for Yale, and eventually fell in five games. Yale finished the season with a 5–2 record in the Ivy League, with its only losses coming from Princeton and Harvard.
“The guys played their hearts out,” Robinson said. “There were too many incredible performances to single out anyone in particular. We will have the same strategy going into nationals: Play hard, give everything and good things will happen.”
The Bulldogs will host the CSA team championship this weekend at the Brady Squash Center. They are expected to play Cornell in the first round.