In the official opener of their 2015–16 regular seasons, the Yale men’s and women’s squash teams took home a pair of dominant wins against weaker Franklin & Marshall squads.
The No. 6 men’s team (1–0, 0–0 Ivy) dropped the No. 9 Diplomats (3–4) by a score of 7–2, while the No. 4 women (1–0, 0–0) dominated Franklin & Marshall (2–4) with an 8–1 decision. The Bulldogs nearly replicated their scores from last season, when the men and women trounced the Diplomats 8–1 and 9–0, respectively.
“It was nice to get on the road with the team and compete again,” men’s player Pierson Broadwater ’18 said. “Even though we were down two members of the top nine, it was a good confidence booster to be able to pull out a convincing win nonetheless. They are a solid team, and it is a great way to start the competitive season.”
Having just narrowly beaten Princeton 5–4, the Diplomat men were looking to pull off an upset. Though Franklin & Marshall ultimately failed to do so, the team elevated its play for a match that was much closer than the 7–2 score indicated, according to Yale head coach Dave Talbott.
The win, which marked the men’s team’s 26th consecutive victory against Franklin & Marshall, was achieved without the play of key contributors Liam McClintock ’17 and captain Sam Fenwick ’16, who were out with foot and groin injuries, respectively.
Kah Wah Cheong ’17 conceded a 3–0 defeat at the No. 1 position, and Yohan Pandole ’19 also fell 3–0 at the No. 8 spot. For Pandole, as well as fellow freshman Jay Losty ’19, the match against the Diplomats was the first of their collegiate careers. Playing at No. 9, Losty achieved a 3–1 win.
“It was an amazing experience and though I didn’t win, the team was really happy with the overall performance,” Pandole said. “F&M are a solid team, and this was definitely a great way to set us up for the long season ahead. If we carry on like this, I don’t see why we can’t win the Ivy and maybe even the national title come February.”
Playing at No. 5, Max Martin ’18 played in the only match of the day to go to five games. His opponent was forced to forfeit with an injury when the score was 3–1, giving Martin the victory.
The women, too, were able to succeed despite the loss of a key contributor. No. 1 Jenny Scherl ’17 did not play due to injury, and freshman Celine Yeap ’19 filled in at the top spot for her first collegiate match. Yeap edged out her opponent 3–1, and Emily Sherwood ’19 also claimed her first-ever win as a Bulldog with a 3–0 decision.
Other than Yeap’s win at the top of the ladder, all of Yale’s victories came in quick 3–0 contests. Captain Annie Ballaine ’16 suffered the lone Eli loss at the No. 2 spot.
The Diplomats’ last win against the Bulldogs came in 1988, giving Yale the second-longest current win streak by an opponent over Franklin & Marshall at 21 consecutive contests.
“This weekend wasn’t our strongest performance, but F&M put up a great fight,” Shiyuan Mao ’17 said. “It was our opening game of the season and we hope to continue going uphill from there.”
Yale will next face off against Ivy League foe Brown. The women open play in Providence, Rhode Island at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, and the men play soon after at 6 p.m.
Correction, Dec. 7: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated the results of Georgia Blatchford’s ’16 match at Yale’s No. 3 spot.