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Men's Squash Shipwrecks Navy

By James L. Chen and Matthew W. Granade

Whoever said lightning never strikes twice never played on the Harvard men's squash team.

Harvard repeated last year's 9-0 shutout victory over the Navy Midshipmen yesterday at the Hemenway Gymnasium in a display of dominance worthy of national champions.

"The matches went well," co-captain Tal Ben-Shachar said. "I think everyone's focused and that it was a good performance for the first match of the season."

Ben- Shachar himself cruised to a 3-0 victory.

In fact, the Crimson won all 12 matches today, although only nine victories were needed to clinch the win.

Coach Bill J. Doyle credited their victory to the training done prior to the matches.

"We did a series of challenge matches last week," Doyle said. "With the depth of our team, the guys are prepared for tough matches."

Though the Crimson was expecting to beat Navy again this year, Navy "was very much improved," according to Doyle.

"I suppose it was a bit harder than expected," junior Joel Kirsch said. "Navy showed a lot of effort."

The win over Navy was the second shutout of the season for the Crimson, the first coming against Brown in mid-November. With a strong 2-0 start to the season, the Crimson is optimistic about the season.

"Everyone's training hard. If we stay focused, train hard, things will take care of themselves. I am optimistic about the season," said Ben-Shachar.

Doyle shared Ben-Shachar's optimism.

"We have a veteran team, no freshmen," he said. "We don't take anything for granted. We want to play to our level."

Yesterday was the first in a series of matches against the Navy, Cornell and Franklin and Marshall.

Today, they will be playing Cornell and Franklin and Marshall at 1 p.m. at Hemenway.

The Crimson is expecting tomorrow's matches to be more challenging but the team is looking forward to them.

"Cornell lost a lot to graduation so overall they won't be as strong," Doyle said.

But, true to his word, Doyle wasn't taking anything for granted.

"Tal [Ben-Shachar] will have a really tough match," Doyle said.

Nevertheless, Ben-Shachar said that he is looking forward to the match.

The critical match of the season won't be until February against Princeton which will be at Harvard.

"If we're healthy, and they're healthy...It will be a tough match," said Doyle.

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