On Wednesday, Yale’s squash teams decisively swept both of Brown’s squash teams, but this weekend poses a stiffer challenge, with the Bulldogs traveling to face national heavyweight Harvard today and hosting Dartmouth in New Haven on Sunday.
The women’s team (9–3, 3–2 Ivy) beat No. 11 Brown (13–8, 0–7) 9–0, with the players collectively losing just three games in the entire match. But the men (9–3, 4–1) lost only two games among the players’ nine matches en route to a 9–0 victory over the No. 13 Bears (5–6, 0–5).
“Brown is always a great match for us,” captain Anna Harrison ’15 said. “It was especially helpful in preparing for this weekend.”
The heavily favored Bulldogs performed as expected: Seven of the women’s nine matches were won in only three games, and Jocelyn Lehman ’18 and Annie Ballaine ’16 played games in which they did not drop a single point to their opponent.
The win was the women’s seventh 9–0 sweep of the season, and ended a two game Ivy losing streak.
The men won all matches in three games, with the exception of T.J. Dembinski ’17 and Edward Columbia ’18, who both won in four games.
The men’s win was their fourth consecutive Ivy win since they opened conference play with a loss to Columbia. The win was also the men’s fifth in a row.
“[The match] was a great opportunity for us to prepare for the big match against Harvard on Friday,” Max Martin ’18 said.
Tonight’s match shapes up as the biggest of the season for Yale. The Bulldogs travel north to take on their archrival Crimson counterparts. The Harvard men (6–2, 5–0 Ivy) and women (8–1, 4–1 Ivy) are ranked sixth and third in the nation, respectively.
In addition to the usual intensity of playing a rival, the Bulldogs have an opportunity to play for a share of the Ivy title. If the Yale men’s squad beats Harvard and then trumps Dartmouth, whom the Bulldogs are heavily favored to defeat, they will share the Ivy title with Harvard and Columbia. Should the Lions lose to Penn or Princeton — which is unlikely to happen — the title will belong to the Crimson alone.
“This Friday at Harvard we get to play for a piece of the Ivy title,” Pierson Broadwater ’18 said. “It was our goal from the beginning of the season to make it to this point. With such a young team, especially after the injuries we sustained in the fall from Kah Wah [Cheong ’17] and Zack [Leman ’16], I’m really proud of how we were able to continue to play and not lose hope.”
The Yale women currently stand two games behind undefeated Penn, meaning that a conference title is highly unlikely.
The Harvard women’s team has been dominant throughout the year. Its only loss came in the first week of the season when it took on Penn. Harvard has not yet played No. 1 Trinity, however.
“It’s going to be a tough match, but everyone in our league is so close that really anything can happen,” Harrison said. “As long as we all show up and each play the best squash we can, I’m confident that we can win this one.”
The final match of the season will take place on Sunday, as the team travels back home to take on Dartmouth. The Dartmouth men (4–6, 1–4 Ivy) and women (4–6, 0–5 Ivy) are ranked 11th and ninth in the nation, respectively.
The Harvard match will take place at 6 p.m. at the Murr Squash Center, and it will be televised on the Ivy League Digital Network.