Despite high hopes and early season success, the Yale men’s and women’s squash teams fell to their Trinity counterparts Wednesday night in New Haven.
The No. 2 men (5–2, 3–0 Ivy) and No. 4 women (6–1, 3–0) suffered a pair of 8–1 losses at the hands of the Bantams. The No. 6 Trinity women (7–1) continued a seven-game winning streak, while the No. 1 Bantam men (10–0) solidified their top ranking in a battle of the nation’s top-two ranked teams. The sole wins for Yale’s teams came from women’s No. 9 Emily Sherwood ’19 and men’s No. 8 Arjun Kochhar ’18.
“Trinity was obviously No. 1 in the country and tonight they showed they were the team to beat,” men’s No. 2 TJ Dembinski ’17 said. “There were certainly five matches in there that could have gone our way, but it wasn’t our night. We’re looking forward to hopefully getting another shot at them at Nationals.”
On the women’s side, Sherwood made short work of her foe in a convincing three-game sweep with scores of 11–6, 11–9 and 11–6.
Other young players for the Eli women demonstrated their potential as well, with sophomores Selena Maity ’18 and Jocelyn Lehman ’18 both taking their matches to five games in the No. 7 and No. 8 positions, respectively.
No. 3 Shiyuan Mao ’17 and No. 5 Georgia Blatchford ’16, meanwhile, both lost four-game matches, each of which included one game that required more than the typical 11 points to win.
The match victory was Trinity’s fourth straight over the Yale women. Since the 2011–12 season in which the Bulldogs beat the Bantams 7–2, Trinity has won 5–4, 5–4 and 7–2, making this year’s win the largest margin in favor of Trinity in the past five years.
“The overall score doesn’t show how well we played,” Sherwood said. “I’m really proud to say I’m on this team and can’t wait to see what we can do in the future.”
Though the Yale men entered the contest as the No. 2 team in the country — significantly higher than their No. 6 ranking at the end of the 2014–15 season — the 8–1 loss saw the same result as the Yale-Trinity matchup in Hartford last year.
Kochhar, the lone victor for the men, won his match in exciting fashion. After building a promising 2–1 lead, Kochhar faltered in the fourth game with a narrow 11–9 defeat. The challenge did not faze Kochhar, however: finding himself on the wrong side of an 11–10 match point in the fifth, Kochhar rallied to put his opponent away 13–11.
Kochhar was one of four Bulldogs — all sophomores — who took their matches to five games. No. 5 Thomas Kingshott ’18 went down 2–0 early in his match but rallied back to 2–2, including a 16–14 victory in the fourth game, before his Trinity opponent outlasted him 11–5 in the fifth and final match.
“Trinity was tough today,” No. 7 Pierson Broadwater ’18, one of those Eli sophomores, said. “They all played at a really high level that was a bit too much for us. But we learned a lot from the experience and are going to work over the next 10 days or so to improve where needed to prepare for more conference play. There’s a chance we’ll meet them in the national tournament, so we are eager to move forward.”
The Bulldog men will use the week to rest and prepare for George Washington, which they will host on Jan. 29. The women will also host Stanford on the same day for an Ivy-Tree faceoff.