Women's Squash Wins It All Again
While Harvard sports fans complain about the mediocrity of the men's hockey, football and basketball teams, some teams toil away under almost complete anonymity.
One such team is woman's squash, who won the Howe Cup this past weekend at Yale. The Howe Cup is squash's equivalent of the national championship. This cup was Harvard's eleventh overall and fifth in a row. This streak is the longest in Howe Cup history, and it also gives Head Coach Bill Doyle more national championships than any other coach.
Harvard easily advanced to the finals where it was matched up against its season long nemesis, Princeton. The Crimson lost a pre-season scrimmage to the Tigers (7-2), before avenging this loss with a (5-4) victory in early February.
Fortunately, recent history would repeat itself as Harvard once again held off Princeton (5-4) to win the greatly coveted Howe Cup. The Crimson needed strong performances from all nine spots in order to ensure its eleventh title.
"It was great to beat Princeton," said junior captain Ivy Pochoda. "They gave us eight very tough matches, but we were able to pull through and win the title."
The Crimson's quest for the national championship began with a (9-0) victory over Dartmouth. Harvard then swept Amherst to move into the third round and set up a showdown with Yale. However, the Elis proved to be little competition for the Crimson, falling (8-1).
With these victories, Harvard improved its record to 12-0 overall and 5-0 the Ivy League, seven of these victories were sweeps (9-0). In fact, Princeton was the only team that managed to win more than two games against the Crimson all year.
Harvard numbers over the past five years are even more impressive. The team is 64-0 overall and 38-0 in the Ivies, while posting five consecutive Howe Cup, Ivy League and WISRA titles. Dynasty anyone?
The Crimson will finish its regular season this Thursday at Yale, before traveling to Dartmouth for the WISRA Individual Championships at the end of the month.
With this season almost complete, the same old question can be raised again. How do you go unnoticed while winning five national championships and completely dominating your opponents?
Obviously, no one would expect the woman's squash team to attract thousands of fans to each match.
However, a team with a continuing tradition of excellence deserves greater recognition than it receives. How many chances will you have to see a Harvard team take home the national championship?
But maybe next year, as the Crimson will surely contend for yet another national title, more Harvard faithfuls can make the trek to Hemenway gym to support their most successful team.