Hoping to regain its footing and security near the end of a challenging season, the Yale men’s squash team fought through a critical weekend to split a pair of Ivy League matches.
The No. 9 Bulldogs (8–6, 2–4 Ivy) battled No. 2 Columbia (12–1, 5–0 Ivy) and No. 15 Cornell (6–9, 0–5 Ivy) on Saturday and Sunday, respectively. After fighting tooth and nail to no avail during the Columbia performance, Yale returned with a vengeance to devour Cornell in a clean shut down.
“Though the results of these two matches were very different, our mindsets did not change from Saturday to Sunday,” No. 1 Spencer Lovejoy ’20 said. “In both matches we set out to continue our mind-set of calculated aggression that we have been working on the last few weeks.”
Columbia remained undefeated in conference play with a 6–3 victory against the Bulldogs on Saturday. While the majority of the lineup succumbed to the Lions’ well-rounded and aggressive play, Yale secured its wins from players across the lineup. No. 3 Max Martin ’18 earned his victory after taking his opponent to four games and taking the final game to an exciting 14–12 score. Captain Thomas Kingshott ’18 and Jay Losty ’19 both dominated in three-game contests at the No. 6 and 9 positions, respectively. Kingshott handed his Lion opponent Robert Mann his first loss of the 2017–18 season.
Despite the final score, the Elis posted several other competitive performances. No. 4 Arjun Kochhar ’18 showcased the team’s training goal of endurance through his performance in a riveting five-game competition. Kochhar forced a tight contest with four of his five performances ending at 11–9. Alongside Kochhar, No. 7 Tyler Carney ’21 kept things close throughout the entirety of his match. Refusing to relent, Carney pushed Columbia with vigor and control, forcing the Lions to games at 13–11, 11–8 and 11–9 apiece.
“Columbia was a close match that we could have won,” Lovejoy said. “We fell short at a few positions I feel because we could not stick to our game plans for the entire match and will continue to work on this for our final matches of the season.”
The squad regrouped after the Columbia match to face Cornell the following day. Yale rolled past Cornell, which has yet to post a conference win this season, in a 9–0 shutout.
The Bulldogs stepped onto Brady Courts with a modified top nine, as Carney and Yohan Pandole ’20 sat out the day’s play due to injuries. Still, the adjusted lineup had little trouble defeating the Big Red. Jacob Rhee ’21 and Jonathan Kovac ’19 filled the No. 8 and 9 spots, respectively, and each vanquished his foe in three games.
Yale saw dominating performances from the entirety of its leaderboard — eight of the nine players ended their matches in games of three. Of these, Lovejoy’s play yielded excellent scores, with two of his three games resulting in an 11–2 triumph. Martin bested his opponent in four games, three of which ended in scores of either 11–2 or 11–3.
“The Columbia match was well contested and extremely close and will give us confidence on our ability to step up against really highly ranked teams, like Harvard next weekend,” No. 2 Harrison Gill ’21 said. “The Cornell match showed that we have great depth and could put two players who are usually reserves and bring them into the top nine and have them both win 3–0.”
The match against Cornell does not mark the end of the conference matches, as Yale will face No. 3 Harvard and No. 5 Dartmouth this weekend. With both teams coming into New Haven ranked in the top five, these matches will likely require the same level of vigor that the Columbia match did.
Yale concludes the regular season with a 4 p.m. match on Friday against the Crimson and a 12 p.m. contest on Sunday with the Big Green.
Lauren Cueto | firstname.lastname@example.org