Despite New Haven’s Arctic chill on Sunday, the Polar Bears of Bowdoin were very much not at home as they fell, 9-0, to the Bulldogs, who capped off a perfect 3-0 weekend for the Yale men’s squash team.
After two matches on Saturday, Yale (7-0, 3-0 Ivy) hosted the Bowdoin Polar Bears (8-5) in the Brady Squash Center. The Bulldogs decided to rest some of their starters and let several of the younger members get some more playing experience. In a testament to the depth and skill of the team, the Bulldog reserves still pulled off the perfect 9-0 victory with seven of the match-ups ending in 3-0 straight-set victories for the Bulldogs.
“We wanted to make a point this weekend that we won’t take any team lightly,” captain Moshe Sarfaty ’08 said. “That’s the tone we’ve set for the season — compete at the highest level.”
The Bowdoin Polar Bears served as the final victim in a dominating weekend for the Elis. On Saturday the Bulldogs took down Cornell (3-5, 2-3) by a score of 8-1 in the morning and in an afternoon match demolished Dartmouth (8-3, 0-2) by a score of 9-0. The convincing victories kept the Bulldogs undefeated at 7-0 overall and — more important — 3-0 in Ivy League play.
“While Bowdoin may not have been the best team, Cornell and Dartmouth are both average teams,” Aaron Fuchs ’10 said.
The victories over the weekend are made even more impressive by the fact that they did not come against cupcake opponents.
“Two big Ivy match wins were an effective start toward the season,” Fuchs said. “We wanted to show Princeton and Harvard that they should be afraid of us.”
Saturday morning against Cornell, Max Samuel ’08 dropped the No. 1 match, but the rest of the team played well, notching eight straight victories to paint the Big Red blue with an overall 8-1 victory. Six of those eight victories came in straight sets, and the other two ended 3-1.
Fresh off walking over Cornell, the Bulldogs took on Dartmouth in the afternoon. Dartmouth fared even worse than Cornell, failing to win even a single match as it fell 9-0.
Five of the Bulldogs finished off their foes in the minimum of three sets, and the other three ended their matches 3-1.
The team’s depth will be an asset as Yale gets deeper into Ivy League matches because, as it showed this weekend, the team is more than capable of picking up victories up and down the ladder, team members said.
“Princeton is the team to beat,” Max Samuel ’08 said. “Harvard lost a lot of seniors from last year, but they still shouldn’t be taken lightly.”
Especially against teams like Princeton, the Bulldogs’ depth should be a factor, team members said. With their hot start to the season, the Elis have put the rest of the Ivy League on notice.
And the Bulldogs have not taken any shortcuts in scheduling, either. Their Wednesday home matchup against Trinity may be their most difficult of the season. The Bantams have won nine straight collegiate national championships in men’s squash.
“Playing Trinity is a lot of fun,” Samuel said. “We have nothing to lose. It’s a great atmosphere, and we can do big things if we go out and upset them.”