The men’s and women’s squash teams wrapped up an intense weekend against Penn and Princeton, two rivals for the Ivy Championship titles.
The men (11–1, 3–0 Ivy) swept Penn 9–0 on Saturday and held on to their No. 1 spot in the Ivy League. Penn was able to best the Yale women (12–2, 2–1) and take the No. 2 spot, behind Harvard, in the Ivy standings. Princeton was an even match for the Bulldogs, but both the men and women were able to edge 5–4 victories over the Tigers.
“Penn and Princeton are both well established programs,” Neil Martin ’14 said. “We were prepared to battle for both matches.”
Martin played at the first spot against Penn and Princeton, winning 3–0 against his Penn opponent, but losing against Princeton.
While the top half of the Yale women’s ladder faced tougher competition against Penn, the bottom half of the men’s ladder saw closer games against the Quakers.
The top three women all played five-game sets. Millie Tomlinson ’14, who lost 2–3 to her opponent at the first position, pushed two of her games to several game points. Shihui Mao ’15 fought hard, winning in her first two games, but lost the next three narrowly to give the third-position win to Penn. Yale took the victory at the second spot with Kim Hay ’14 defeating her opponent in yet another five gamer.
“It was fun, but a battle,” Annie Ballaine ’16 said. “Everyone stepped it up and played some really good squash.”
Ballaine, who played at the ninth spot, had the only 3–0 victory against the Quaker women.
The men’s team dominated the Quakers, winning 3–0 in six of nine matches. The top five players and the ninth player did not give up a single game.
“We put together a number of faultless performances to overcome Penn 9–0,” Martin said.
The Elis at the sixth, seventh and eighth spots saw tight five-game sets. Liam McClintock ’17, captain Eric Caine ’14 and Pehlaaj Bajwa ’16 all came back from 0–2 deficits and won three straight games to secure Yale’s nine-game sweep.
After just barely losing to Penn on Saturday, the Yale women triumphed 5–4 over Princeton on Sunday. Ballaine said it was a rewarding win against the Tigers on their home courts.
“That was a tough crowd,” Ballaine said. “But I think we kept our heads in the game and played hard.”
The men’s matchup against Princeton came down to a deciding fifth game in a set between Caine and Penn senior Ash Egan at the seventh spot.
Caine said he was fortunate to come away with the win against the skilled and experienced Egan.
According to Martin, freshmen Kah Wah Cheong ’17, TJ Dembinski ’17 and Liam McClintock ’17 played especially well this weekend.
“The freshmen have really been the beating heart of the team this year and are owed a lot of credit,” Martin added.
The Eli women will travel to Providence to play Brown on Tuesday; the men will make the trip on Wednesday.