Trinity Ekes Out Title Over M. Squash in Thriller

Broad Shoulders
Joseph L. Abel

Sophomore Will Broadbent defeated two opponents ranked in the top five nationally this weekend.

The No. 2 Harvard men’s squash team took five-time defending champion Trinity down to the wire in the finals of this weekend’s CSA Team Championships at Yale yesterday, but in the end fell just short in a 5-4 loss.

The Crimson (9-2, 6-0 Ivy) became the first squad to take four individual matches from the Bantams (18-0) since the 2000-2001 Harvard team, which did so on February 3, 2001, while Trinity extended its record winning streak to 108 consecutive matches dating back to the 1997-1998 season.

Sophomore intercollegiate No. 5 Will Broadbent recorded his two biggest wins of the season for the Crimson, defeating No. 2 Julian Illingworth 9-6, 8-10, 2-9, 9-1, 9-6 in Harvard’s 8-1 semifinal victory over No. 3 Yale on Saturday before toppling No. 3 Bernardo Samper, the 2002 intercollegiate champion, 9-1, 9-1, 9-2 yesterday against Trinity.

“If he’s not the guy to beat, he’s certainly a guy that absolutely everyone in the country should be scared of,” co-captain Ziggy Whitman said. “He’ll go out and make it happen—for the whole team. He carries our team.”

The Crimson beat the No. 7 University of Western Ontario 9-0 in Friday’s quarterfinals.

TRINITY 5, HARVARD 4

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NEW HAVEN, Conn.—After Broadbent made relatively quick work of Samper, Harvard needed either co-captain intercollegiate No. 18 James Bullock or freshman No. 47 Jason De Lierre to come from behind to take the title.

Bullock, playing at No. 4, had dropped the first two games 9-7 and 9-2 to No. 9 Yvain Badan before recovering to win the third 9-5. Bullock then seized an 8-7 lead in the fourth game, but Badan saved the game ball and tied the score at eight. Bullock won the serve back, but couldn’t convert and Badan closed him out 10-8.

That left De Lierre—who himself had dropped the first two games before coming back to win the third—to decide the title with Trinity tri-captain and intercollegiate No. 28 Pat Malloy at No. 7.

Malloy jumped ahead with the first two points of the fourth game, but De Lierre briefly drew even before Malloy reeled off seven-consecutive points to take the 9-0, 9-3, 2-9, 9-2 win and give the Bantams the Potter Trophy.

Broadbent’s win at No. 1 came surprisingly easily, as he and Samper played several spectacular points, but Broadbent largely controlled play in his three-game victory.

In the first game, Broadbent jumped out to a 6-1 lead and then lunged to his right to put his seventh point away before winning the next one with a backhand en route to building a one-game advantage.

The next two games saw more of the same, with Samper catching the top of the tin several times as Broadbent moved methodically toward the victory.

“I had talked about a few things with the coaches about rather than playing containing squash to actually attack myself, so I worked on those things and they worked,” Broadbent said.

The Crimson—behind wins from freshman intercollegiate No. 11 Ilan Oren at No. 3 and junior intercollegiate No. 22 Mike Blumberg at No. 6—jumped out to a 2-0 advantage and came just points away from making it 3-0.

Freshman intercollegiate No. 52 Garnett Booth took the first two games from No. 40 Jacques Swanepoel, 9-3 and 9-0, but Swanepoel—aided by some questionable calls by Malloy—came back to win the next three games, 9-6, 10-8 and 9-4.

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