After losses to archrival Harvard last Friday night, the Yale men’s and women’s squash teams closed their regular seasons with wins against Dartmouth.
In Cambridge, the Yale men (10–4, 5–2 Ivy) fell 7–2 to Harvard (8–2, 7–0), and the Yale women (10–4, 4–3) lost 9–0 to their Harvard counterparts (13–1, 6–1).
Both teams, however, were able to reverse their scores on Sunday, with the women sweeping Dartmouth (5–7, 1–6) 9–0 and the Yale men’s team beating Dartmouth (5–7, 2–5) by a score of 7–2.
“I think that this past week of Ivy competition was the perfect preparation for this upcoming weekend’s national competition, where we hope to shock some people,” Jenny Scherl ’17 said.
Both Harvard teams are ranked third in the nation, while, coincidentally, both Yale teams are ranked fifth in the nation.
The losses to Harvard gave its men’s team a perfect 7–0 Ivy record, clinching the conference championship for the Crimson. Had the Yale men won on Friday, the Bulldogs, Harvard and Columbia would have shared the Ivy title.
Despite the wide margin, the men’s match was much closer that it appears on paper. Four of Yale’s losses came in tightly contested five-game matches. Captain Joseph Roberts ’15 and Sam Fenwick ’16 — playing in the No. 7 and No. 1 positions, respectively — both recorded 3–0 wins for Yale.
“Obviously being a few points away from an Ivy League title was disappointing, but we have a lot of positives to take away from the matches this weekend and throughout the season,” Fenwick said. “I believe in the Harvard match we needed to be a little more levelheaded in the latter stages of games. No one was really outplayed, it just came down to who could keep their composure.”
The Yale women, however, were unable to stand up to the powerhouse team that Harvard fielded. The women were only able to achieve four wins throughout their lineup, as five losses came by a 3–0 score.
Since a tight 5–4 loss to Penn on Jan. 11, Harvard has posted an undefeated record with seven consecutive wins against teams all ranked in the top 13. Two days before the Yale match, Harvard humbled No. 1 Trinity by a wide 8–1 margin.
The Yale women were able to flip the score later that weekend by defeating No. 9 Dartmouth 9–0. The women collectively lost only three games in the entire match.
“At this point in the season, as a team we try to focus on how to perform our best with the assets we currently have and not on what we could have or should have done a few months ago,” Scherl said. “This drive lead us to a complete sweep over Dartmouth on Sunday.”
In a freshman vs. senior faceoff, Jennifer Davis ’18 was able to secure a tough four-game victory against Dartmouth’s Sarah Caughey. Davis and Caughey split the first two games (11–7, 9–11), though Davis was able to pull through decisively, winning the third game 11–3 and then clinching a victory in the fourth 15–13.
The win improved Yale’s Ivy record to 4–3, and landed the Bulldogs fourth place in the Ivy standings.
The men’s 7–2 victory improved their Ivy record to 5–2 and secured them a third-place finish in the conference. Harvard and Columbia, the only Ivy teams Yale lost to, finished first and second, respectively.
Pierson Broadwater ’18 won yet another close five-game match. Down 2–1 going into the fourth, Broadwater was able to rally and win the game 14–12. His disheartened Harvard foe then conceded a 11–4 loss to Broadwater. This was Broadwater’s fourth five-game victory of the season.
“Friday was a letdown for the team,” Broadwater said. “Harvard came out really strong and it was important for us to bounce back against Dartmouth in order to secure our seeding in the national tournament. Dartmouth put on a strong performance, but we were able to get the job done.”
The Bulldogs will next play in two weeks, when they take on Columbia (12–2, 6–1) in the first round of the National Championship, hosted by Trinity. The men hope to avenge a disappointing 5–4 upset to the Lions from earlier this season.
Columbia is ranked fourth in the nation, one position ahead of Yale.
“I don’t fear about playing any team in the upcoming Nationals. We have the talent and the fight to take down some serious teams, we just need to get our heads down for the next two weeks, believe that we are good enough and relish the opportunity of being the underdog,” Fenwick said.
The women will next play Friday in the first round of the Howe Cup national championship, hosted by Harvard.