Squash Squads Crush Dartmouth

Undefeated men and women will face No. 2 Trinity next

In their final competition before tomorrow’s meeting with Trinity, the Harvard squash teams defeated Dartmouth on Wednesday, maintaining identical 4-0 records (3-0 Ivy). The Crimson women won 7-2, with the men winning 8-1.

The women’s win featured six three-game victories, the most crushing being No. 3 Lindsey Wilkins’ 9-0, 9-0, 9-0 and No. 2 Margaret Elias’ 9-0, 9-1, 9-0 wins.

The two losses for the women’s team came near the bottom of the lineup. Big Green freshmen Martha Ucko and Courtney Schenk both won 3-1 against Harvard’s Kristin Wadhwa and Neeta Lal in the seventh and eighth spots, respectively.

Wadhwa and Lal were playing in higher positions than usual because of injuries to No. 6 Stephanie Hendricks and No. 8 Hilary Thorndike.

“We knew Dartmouth had a deep team, so there was a lot of pressure on [Wadha and Lal],” co-captain Colby Hall said. “Both played amazing squash and made heroic efforts.”

Hendricks and Thorndike are probable to compete against Trinity. Both are recovering from stress injuries that required them to rest during the Dartmouth match.

With Harvard expected to win easily over Dartmouth, Wednesday’s contest was welcomed for the opportunity to practice in competitive play. The match against No. 2 Trinity is the biggest competition of every year for No. 1 Harvard.

“We need to be confident and try to be relaxed as possible on Saturday,” Hall said. “The key is just to let go and play the squash we know we can.”

For the Crimson men, the lone loss against the Big Green came at the No. 1 spot. Taking co-captain Peter Karlen’s usual spot, junior Dylan Patterson came up short against Dartmouth No. 1 Ryan Donegan, who spent three years on the pro tour before college.

“He was stronger than who I was used to playing, but you always have to try to win,” Patterson said.

Karlen, who was sidelined for the Williams match on Jan. 24 with a foot injury, returned to the Harvard lineup on Wednesday. Playing in the No. 4 spot, he defeated his opponent in three games. At No. 2, Harvard sophomore James Bullock pulled out a victory after dropping the first two games.

The team bypassed its usual rest day before a match on Tuesday to play an intense intra-squad challenge to decide the line-up.

“We knew we had a good chance to beat Dartmouth, so we used it as almost a practice match,” Patterson said.

The lineup against Trinity will feature Patterson and Bullock in the first two spots, with Karlen playing either No. 3 or 4. The women play at noon, with the men to follow two hours later.