The No. 3 men’s and No. 5 women’s squash teams defended their respective rankings this weekend with decisive wins for both teams.
The Eli men (7–0, 2–0 Ivy) defeated No. 5 Rochester 6–3 on Saturday, while the women (8–0, 2–0 Ivy) easily swept both Haverford (2–7, 0–2 Centennial) and Tufts (5–7, 0–3 NESCAC) at home on Sunday.
Both Yale teams will bring undefeated records into their rivalry matches against Trinity tonight. The Bantams, also undefeated, are ranked first for men and second for women, giving Yale chances to come away with upset victories.
“For both teams, if they could win this match, it means that they’ve got a clear shot at the national championship,” said head coach David Talbott. “Outside of winning the Ivy League, this is the match that we play for all year in the dual season.”
Saturday at Rochester (6–2, 3–1 UAA), the Yale men continued their trend of dominating in the middle and bottom of the ladder. While Rochester won at the top three spots, Eli wins at four through nine secured the overall victory.
Charlie Wyatt ’14, captain Eric Caine ’14 and Joseph Roberts ’15 all won in three games at the seventh, eighth and ninth spots, respectively.
Yale’s three freshmen, Thomas Dembinski ’17, Kah Wah Cheong ’17 and Liam McClintock ’17, each took five games to finish off their opponents at four through six. With the wins, the freshmen moved to 15–1 combined this year.
Talbott attributed Yale’s depth this season to the freshmen “surpassing expectations” and also to the experience of Wyatt, Caine and Roberts at the bottom of the ladder. Those three players are in their third years of playing in the team’s top 10.
“We’ve always been known for our depth at Yale,” Talbott said.
The women’s team was expecting two comfortable victories at home on Sunday and received exactly that.
Despite not using a few players at the top of their ladder, the Bulldogs won every individual match with three-game sweeps. Of the 54 games played, 20 of them were 11–0 victories. Through eight matches, the women have still managed to win every individual match that they have played.
For both the men and women, tonight’s home matches against Trinity will be Yale’s first matchup in which the Bulldogs are ranked lower than their opponents. Both teams fell to the Bantams last season. The women narrowly lost 5–4 during the regular season and 7–2 at the CSA championships, while the men lost both matches 7–2.
The men, however, remain one of just two teams to have beaten Trinity in the past 14 years. The Elis broke the Bantams’ 252-match streak in 2011, and only Princeton has beaten them since that match.
Talbott said that every matchup looks fairly even for the women’s team, but Trinity has an advantage at the top of the men’s ladder.
“I don’t think they overmatch us [at the top] as much as Rochester, but they’re still very good up top,” Talbott said. “We sort of catch up from four on down. We have to take advantage of our depth.”
Talbott added that expectations are higher for the women, because the team is more experienced and will graduate seniors Millie Tomlinson ’14, Kim Hay ’14, captain Lilly Fast ’14 and Gwen Tilghman ’14 next year.
He said that this year for the men is a “free swing,” because the team, especially its freshman class, was not expected to be as dominant as it has been.
“This is one of those matches where everyone has a chance to win,” Caine said. “Trinity doesn’t have a lot of superstars; we don’t have a lot of superstars. We’re both just hardworking teams.”
The first match against Trinity will begin at 6:00 p.m. at the Brady Squash Center.