In its first weekend of regular season play, the No. 5 Harvard men’s squash team looked to be in peak form, as the Crimson earned victories at home over No. 14 Brown and No. 11 Williams.
“We want to just keep the momentum [we gained this weekend],” captain J. Reed Endresen said. “It was great for our team to take these two victories and beat some decently good teams.”
HARVARD 8, WILLIAMS 1
The Crimson (2-0) proved to be up to its second regular-season test yesterday afternoon, as Harvard handed the Ephs (1-1) their first loss. Building upon momentum established during Friday night’s blowout victory over the Bears (1-1), Harvard outplayed its opponent for the second straight game.
“[Williams] was a stronger challenge [than our first],” Harvard coach Mike Way said. “But...I think we’ll have a clearer picture of how good we are after the Cornell-Rochester trip, because both are games away from home.”
Against the Ephs, freshman standout Gary Power led the way, using his flair and quickness to defeat Williams’ top player, junior William Morris, in three sets. Senior Richard Hill also won in three sets for the second straight time at No. 2.
Freshman Brandon McLaughlin and sophomore Zeke Scherl both outlasted their opponents, winning three straight games despite each dropping their first set of the day. Scherl ended his four-game match with a dominant 11-1 win in the last frame.
Though Harvard sealed its victory after the fifth individual matchup, the Ephs did not go down without a fight. In front of a large crowd due to the fact that all other matches had finished, Williams’ Julian Drobetsky defeated Crimson sophomore Alexander Ma in a heated, action-packed contest at the No. 7 spot to earn the Ephs’ lone individual victory of the day.
“We did have some close matches [this weekend], even though the scores were 9-0 and 8-1,” Way said. “Of course, it just shows you how tense these matches can be.”
Though the matchups were tighter than indicated by the score, Harvard’s freshman class had a strong showing on Sunday, providing immediate contributions on the court to aid a young Harvard team to victory.
“We have a bunch of freshman in the top of the lineup, so it was great to see them perform,” Endresen said. “Today, it was tough after Harvard-Yale, but it was great to see everyone come out and play so well.”
According to Way, the matches this weekend have even greater value than just a pair of tallies in the team’s win column.
“What this weekend gives me is an opportunity to see [the players] under pressure,” Way said. “Where are their heads? Are they executing their game plan? How are they holding it together, and are they adjusting tactically how they need to as the match progresses?”
“From my perspective, I need to see them play these matches so I can then really build the program around what I see out there,” Way added.
HARVARD 9, BROWN 0