A pair of dominant victories for the Yale men’s squash team snapped a five-game skid and steadied the ship for an inconsistent Bulldogs team as they enter the home stretch of Ivy League play.
The Elis spent last Saturday on the Brady Courts, defeating both George Washington and Navy in quick succession.
Yale (7–5, 1–2 Ivy) dominated both George Washington and Navy with a pair of 7–2 victories. These wins not only marked the end of the losing streak, but also ensured that the Bulldogs stay at the No. 9 ranking.
“This was a good test to see how we could do against teams that we were supposed to beat on paper,” No. 1 Spencer Lovejoy said. “Everyone handled the pressure well and played very solidly with the urgency to get off to a good start against these teams and never look back.”
Yale faced off against George Washington, the team right behind Yale in the national rankings at the No. 10 position. A loss to the Colonials could imperil Yale’s No. 9 overall ranking and swap the two teams. While this match was non-conference, the Elis needed a win to rediscover their best form and keep their perch above George Washington.
Yale proceeded to control the courts with a 7–2 win over the Colonials. Captain and No. 6 Thomas Kingshott ’18 and No. 4 Arjun Kochhar ’18 each played in riveting and close five-game matches and emerged victorious. Besides them, Yale saw positive outcome from across the roster. No. 2 Harrison Gill ’21 defeated his opponent in three games, and No. 5 Pierson Broadwater ’18, No. 8 Yohan Pandole ’19 and No. 9 James Losty ’19 matched that result with sweeps of their own.
After succeeding against the Colonials, Yale immediately regrouped to face Navy that same afternoon. Head coach Dave Talbott said that their goal moving into the second match was to ride the confidence acquired from the George Washington match and maintain energy and endurance to last through Navy.
“The team was ready for a busy day of competition — it is what we have trained for the entire year,” Lovejoy said. “We are one of the fittest teams out there, and it was great to see that energy was still high in the second match.”
No. 14 Navy fell to the Elis in a 7–2 decision. The result aligns with Yale’s strong history of domination over the Midshipmen. Since 1950, Yale has bested Navy 45 times, including a streak of 34 consecutive wins since 1986.
Yale once again conquered with victories that spanned the entirety of the roster. Seven of the nine matches were decided in just three games. The Bulldogs took these matches against a lower ranked team as a mechanism of discovering areas needing improvement for upcoming conference matches.
“We are very close with the best teams in the nation, but to beat them we just need that five to ten percent more in our games,” Kingshott said. “This weekend’s matches were a great opportunity for us to identify and improve the areas where we can find that five to ten percent.”
This weekend’s performances marked the end of a five-game losing streak, four of which occurred on the road. Now, with a string of home games, the team’s familiarity with the environment allows them to fully focus on the upcoming competition.
Yale hits the court once again this Saturday against Columbia. Ranked No. 2, Columbia is the highest competition Yale has faced since the Trinity match last week. The Bulldogs view their 6–3 loss against No. 1 Trinity as a learning experience. The squad has taken note of improvements to be made and saw the George Washington and Navy matches as an opportunity to implement these improvements into play.
“We were using these matches to work on some of our weaknesses exposed by trinity,” Talbott said. “We have worked on our front court game and controlling the middle of the court to get this good showing after our recent losses.”
Yale’s remaining four matches are all in the Ivy League before the CSA Team Championships. As such, there is no margin for error.
Yale battles Columbia this Saturday followed by Cornell on Sunday in Payne Whitney.
Lauren Cueto | firstname.lastname@example.org