The top-ranked Harvard women’s squash team opened the season with a bang, defeating both Stanford and Williams last Friday in Williamstown, Mass.
The Crimson (2-0) lost only three games all day, with its top six going undefeated in the squad’s 6-3 victory over the No. 6 Cardinal (4-1) and its sweep over the No. 9 Ephs (1-2).
Harvard All-Americans Laura Gemmell and co-captain Cece Cortes did not play, but the Crimson was still able to show its dominance on its opening day.
“It was a good start to the season,” said co-captain and All-American Nirasha Guruge. “I thought everyone played well despite the long trip to Williams and having two matches back-to-back.”
HARVARD 9, WILLIAMS 0
In the second match of the day, Harvard continued its dominance over the Ephs, notching its 30th straight victory against the host squad. The Crimson nine did not lose a single game en route to a 9-0 sweep of Williams.
Harvard overpowered the Ephs with a strong showing despite just coming off of a relatively close battle against Stanford.
“We definitely have a really strong team this year,” junior Sarah Mumanachit said. “It was our second match of the day, and everyone still had their mind set on match day and brought everything to the table.”
At the No. 1 spot, Guruge won a hard-fought match, with two of her games only decided by two points in her 3-0 victory.
The match at the No. 2 spot was also contested, with freshman Haley Mendez’s opening game decided by a score of 12-10.
But she easily won the next two games, winning 11-3, 11-6.
Mendez’s experience with the U.S. National Team helped her in her opening day on the Harvard squad.
“It’s a pretty high position to play as a freshman,” Guruge said. “I think she really stepped up. She’s handled this challenge pretty well.”
HARVARD 6, STANFORD 3
Earlier in the afternoon, the No. 1 Crimson defended its lofty ranking with a 6-3 victory over the Cardinal.