After dropping three combined matches last week, the Yale men’s and women’s squash teams were able to rally, winning all three of their matches this past weekend.
The No. 4 ranked Yale men (6–3, 1–1 Ivy) and women (8–1, 2–0) traveled south to face George Washington University (8–6 men, 6–6 women) in Washington, D.C. Just a few hours later, the men traveled 45 minutes east to the United States Naval Academy (15–5).
The George Washington men and women are ranked 17th and eighth in the nation, respectively, and the Midshipmen are ranked 14th. As such, the weekend presented much less of a challenge than the Bulldogs have grown accustomed to. In the men’s team’s previous three games, the Elis faced off against No. 2 Trinity, No. 1 St. Lawrence and No. 3 Rochester, while the women took on No. 2 Trinity, No. 20 St. Lawrence and No. 7 Stanford.
Perhaps as a result of the easier opposition, Yale won all three matches 8–1.
Despite the lopsided score, four of the nine matches against Navy went to five games.
“Our win over the Midshipmen was much closer than the 8–1 score indicates — it could easily have been 5–4 because of all the five-game matches,” head coach David Talbott said. “We dug in hard, and the experience we have gained over the past few weeks is starting to show.”
Thomas Kingshott ’18 was able to defeat his Colonial opponent in a long five-game match, while Liam McClintock ’17 lost in five.
However, six of the other Yale matches were Bulldog sweeps, and the final contest between George Washington’s John Bassett and Arjun Kochhar ’18 was determined in four games.
“We played really good squash,” Thomas Dembinski ’17 said. “Everyone really stepped up and we played good squash against both teams. The match against Navy, specifically, was tough with four matches going five. We did well to win both 8–1 and now are just going to prepare for this weekend.”
The Elis’ match against Navy was not nearly as one-sided as the George Washington contest. Two players, McClintock and Joseph Roberts ’15, lost their first game but came back to beat their Navy opponent. In addition, only one of the Bulldogs’ eight victories was a sweep.
The young Bulldog team boasted five freshmen and two sophomores in the top nine — an impressive feat for one of the top ranked teams in the nation.
After suffering their first loss of the season last weekend to No. 2 ranked Trinity, meanwhile, the Yale women were able to reassert themselves, winning 8-1. Furthermore, the Bulldogs decisively won seven of the nine matches 3–0.
The Colonials’ single victory came in the No. 1 position, as Anna Porras defeated Yale’s Jenny Scherl ’17 in three games. Porras finished last season individually ranked No. 15 among college players.
“George Washington is an up and coming team and ended last season in the top eight,” Shihiu Mao ’15 said. ”It was a great opportunity for us to get back into playing and prepare us for next week’s matches.”
Next weekend, the Bulldogs return to conference play with an Ivy doubleheader against rivals No. 10 Penn and No. 8 Princeton.