The Yale women’s squash team triumphed against George Washington University this past weekend, also extending their impressive winning record against top-ranked teams Stanford and Trinity.
Meanwhile, the Yale men’s squash team has continued its up-and-down performance over recent matches in the past week, falling to Trinity on Wednesday and rebounding against George Washington on Sunday.
The No. 8 men (8–3, 3–0 Ivy) started the week’s matchups with a duel against No. 2 Trinity (12–0, 0–0 NESCAC). The neighboring Connecticut college has been a consistent thorn in Yale’s side, with the Elis only taking one of the last 13 matchups. On the back end of another top-10 season with numerous convincing performances against top talent, Yale men’s squash looked to upset this narrative. Despite this determination, Trinity’s talent and Yale’s injury troubles proved to be too much. The team fell to the Bantams 1–8. On Sunday, the team rebounded with a near-sweep of No. 12 George Washington University (7–7, 0–0 Atlantic 10).
“Trinity was a tough test as we had a couple of our top guys out, and they were already a top-two team in the country to begin with,” Eric Kim ’22 said. “Still, everyone stepped up and fought hard through the entire match.”
The No. 4 Yale women’s team has been on an absolute tear. After its only loss of the season against No. 9 Columbia (8–4, 3–1 Ivy), the Elis have come back with a vengeance, dispatching with ease three opponents in the top 15, including two in the top six.
The squad’s first opponent after a 10-day hiatus was the formidable No. 3 Trinity (11–1, 0–0 NESCAC team, a perennial contender for the College Squash Association women’s title. In a hard-fought contest, the Bulldogs overcame their foe in a 5–4 victory, handing Trinity its only loss so far this season. Captain Lucy Beecroft ’20 led the charge with a powerful four-set win, with much of the team’s success coming from its depth. No. 7 Riya Mital ’21 and No. 8 Alexis Lazor ’21 sealed their matches in three sets.
Against No. 6 Stanford (5–5, 0–0 Pac), Yale furthered its success, with the team’s 10th win against the Cardinal in 14 tries since 2011. Three of the team members swept their matches, leading to a final score of 6–3.
Against No. 14 GW (4–11, 0–0 Atlantic 10), Yale completed its most assertive win of the season. They completed a 9–0 shutout and only allowed five of the matches to extend beyond three sets.
Injuries have held back the men’s team all season, and the squad entered last Wednesday’s match without three of its top eight: Harrison Gill ’21, Nadav Raziel ’22 and Jed Burde ’23. Absences like these create vulnerabilities that can make a huge difference against an elite opponent.
Despite this loss, Yale quickly turned things around on Sunday, with a dominant win against the Colonials. The contest saw the return of Gill into the lineup as the No. 2 seed, who locked out George Washington’s Salim Khan in a three-set win that included a 15–13 nail-biter in set two. This play was indicative of the team as a whole, as the Bulldogs clinched an 8–1 win.
“We knew GW was a must-win and everyone came locked in to play,” Kim continued. “We’re beginning to peak at the right time and finally getting some of our key starters back from injury. Moving forward, we’re gaining more confidence as we head into our biggest weekend so far against Penn and Princeton.”
Yale will continue this stretch of elite opponents with two Ivy matches this weekend, followed next week by even more of what are sure to be competitive matchups. No. 7 Dartmouth (4–5, 0–3 Ivy) is on the docket for February 7, with a season-closer against No. 1 Harvard (7–0, 4–0 Ivy) following up soon after. Despite this strength of schedule, the men’s squad is confident that their talent and poise will carry them through the end of a successful season.
Gill expanded on the team’s mentality and ambition for these upcoming contests.
“We learned a lot in the Trinity match and that showed in our performances against GW,” Gill said. We are going into this weekend with the expectation of winning two matches and that’s what I believe we will do. The only undefeated teams left in the Ivy League are Harvard and us, so we are doing everything we can to put ourselves in the best position to win the Ivy League Championship.”
Yale men’s and women’s squash will face Princeton this Saturday at 12:00 p.m. in New Jersey.
Matthew Cline | firstname.lastname@example.org