Playing on the road against top-15 competition, the Yale men’s squash team at last demonstrated its ability to consistently string together victories in tightly contested matches.
In a wildly successful weekend, No. 7 Yale (8–3, 2–1 Ivy) blanked both No. 12 George Washington (7–9, 0–0 MASA) and No. 14 University of Virginia (10–5, 0–0 MASA) during its slew of away games. These outcomes demonstrated the depth of the Bulldogs’ lineup throughout the pair of 9–0 triumphs.
“We went into both matches looking to be as clinical and professional as possible,” Tiber Worth ’22 said. “Credit to all the boys, we were professional across the board, and we’re really pleased to get two 9-0 wins against two good teams away.”
On Saturday, the Elis swept George Washington in a decisive and succinct performance. No. 2 Nadav Raziel ’22, No. 3 Harrison Gill ’21, No. 4 Calvin McCafferty ’20, No. 5 Tyler Carney ’21 and No. 8 Yohan Pandole ’19 blanked their opponents in three games, while the remaining Bulldogs finished the job in four. Two-thirds into the season, this performance marks the third time the Elis have shut out their opponents — the same number Yale totalled all of last season.
Yale prioritized a positive mentality, accuracy and composure heading into the weekend and, as a result, these team goals were reflected throughout the roster. No. 9 Jacob Rhee ’21 made the team’s top-nine ranking for the second time this season and performed consistently with 11–4, 11–4, 4–11 and 11–7 game decisions.
The George Washington match held a personal significance for the Eli veterans. The Colonials defeated Yale for the Hoehn Cup title at the College Squash Association’s Team Championships last season 6–3, kicking the Bulldogs into 10th place and ending their season as team. Carney and captain Jay Losty ’19, both of whom fell to their opponents last season in four and five games, redeemed themselves with victories in Saturday’s rematch against the Colonials.
After marking a turning point in the direction of the program by atoning for the end of last year’s lackluster campaign, the Elis then returned to the road Saturday night to face the University of Virginia for the first time in program history.
“With a strong and upcoming programming, UVA is a strong opponent that has already pulled some upsets this year,” Gill said. “We all acknowledge the strength of this team, so we were looking to replicate the performance we had against George Washington. We knew that they are a fit team, which plays a solid, attritional style, so we needed to match and surpass their intensity and determination, as well as utilize our accuracy and composure.”
In the fourth sweep of the season, the Elis blanked the Cavaliers 9-0. Lovejoy, Gill, Carney, Kim, Pandole and No. 9 Jonathan Kovac ’19 swept their opponents. Meanwhile, Raziel and Losty won their matches in four games, and McCafferty finished his in five.
Gill’s triumph reflected the team’s emphasis on consistency and technical play. Gill dominated his opponent, yielding 11–2, 11–2 and 11–4 game results. Carney performed similarly well, ending the day with 11–0, 11–1 and 11–5 scores.
“We went in as the higher ranked team, so we definitely were aiming for a win coming in,” Gill said. “Going in, we were confident at every position and each player executed on their game plans well, securing their wins.”
The Elis next turn their attention to No. 5 Columbia. Last season, Yale fell to the Lions 6-3 coming off of two wins against George Washington and Navy. With their rigorous training regimen implemented over the summer and preseason, this rematch will indicate how far the Bulldogs have come in one year.
Yale takes on Columbia on Saturday at 12 p.m. at Brady Squash Center.
Lauren Cueto | email@example.com