The men’s and women’s squash teams will head to Cambridge this Saturday to face Harvard in matches that have Ivy League title implications.
The No. 2 men’s squash (12–1, 5–0 Ivy) will look to capture sole ownership of the league championship this week, as they have already won at least a share of the title with No. 3 Princeton after their win over No. 12 Brown and the Tiger’s defeat over No. 6 Harvard (7–3, 3–2) last weekend. A win against No. 1 Harvard (8–0, 5–0) for the No. 2 women’s team (13–0, 5–0) would give the Bulldogs their first Ivy League title in over five seasons and the No. 1 ranking going into the Howe Cup, the national championship that begins next weekend.
“This is the position that we wanted to be in — to go to Harvard knowing that a win would mean an Ivy Title,” men’s captain Naishadh Lalwani ’11 said. “It’s great that we’ve been able to do that and now we just need to finish the job on Saturday.”
The Bulldogs have had little trouble this season with Ivy League opponents except for a tightly contested 5–4 victory over No. 3 Princeton. Lalwani was the hero of that contest, coming through with the last match victory at the No. 4 position.
Last year, the battle against the Crimson was one sided as Yale won 8–1. Harvard was unable to handle the depth of the Yale lineup, which Lalwani said has gotten even stronger this year.
For Harvard, this weekend’s match against Yale will be a chance for redemption. Their loss to the Elis last season cost them a share of the Ivy League title.
“It’s always tough playing Harvard away and we’re going to have to play our best if we want to win,” Lalwani said.
For the women, this weekend’s match will be their biggest test of the season. Both Harvard, the defending national champions, and Yale are undefeated thus far, and the winner will take home the Ivy League title.
The two teams faced off in the finals of the Ivy Scrimmages in the early stages of the season and Yale easily defeated Harvard, 6–3. Last year, the Crimson handily defeated Yale 7–2 in the regular season. In that match, the Bulldogs were given a huge beating, losing six matches in straight games.
“We are playing for an Ivy League championship,” captain Logan Greer ’11 said. “We have worked toward this match all year and we are ready to step up and challenge Harvard.”
Yale had a comfortable 9–0 victory over No. 10 Brown last weekend while Harvard defeated No. 3 Trinity, 7–2. The Elis defeated Trinity earlier this year 6–3.
At the No. 1 position, No. 3 Greer will face Harvard’s Laura Gemmell, the top player in the country. Gemmell defeated Trinity’s Catalina Pelaez, who defeated Greer last month.
“Our team needs to play with determination; that is, we need to refuse to lose,” Greer said. “By competing hard, by wearing Harvard down physically and mentally, we will be successful.”
In their contest against Trinity, Harvard lost their match at the No. 3 position. Millie Tomlinson ’14, the No. 10 player in the country, will play at that spot on Saturday and is undefeated this season.
“We have been building up to this match all season,” Sarah Toomey ’11 said. “Winning would mean an undefeated regular season and Ivy title.”
The match begins at 1 p.m. for the women and 4 p.m. for the men.