Dorothy might say, “There’s no place like home,” but the No. 5 Harvard men’s squash (5-4, 4-2), which lost at its home court to No. 4 Princeton (10-3, 5-1) two weeks ago, hopes there will be “no place like New Haven.”
Tomorrow afternoon at Yale’s Payne Whitney Gymnasium, the Crimson will have a chance at retribution for the recent loss, as it faces off in a rematch against the Tigers in the quarterfinals of the College Squash Association National Team Championships.
“It’s a great atmosphere down at Yale,” junior Reed Endresen said. “It will be very energetic. Great squash will be played.”
Though Princeton won the first meeting, 7-2, the match was closer than the score indicated.
Harvard won matches at the top two spots, as co-captain Colin West and junior Richard Hill each took home 3-1 victories.
In the number nine spot, the match between Crimson freshman Alexander Ma and Tigers junior Nikhil Seth came down to the wire, with Seth ultimately prevailing in five games.
Though the other matches were not as close, three or fewer points decided 16 of 34 games.
“[It] is a very balanced match,” Harvard coach Satinder Bajwa said. “This time neither team has a home advantage. If we could win a couple of matches we [lost last time], then the pressure goes on other team and anything could happen.”
“Although Princeton, on paper, is the favorite,” he added.
The Crimson has won a total of 31 CSA Championships since the tournament’s inception, more than any other team, while the Tigers have claimed nine.
Last year, Harvard took home fourth place, and Princeton came in second. No. 1 Trinity won the national title in 2009, extending its Potter Cup championship streak to 11.
The winner of tomorrow’s match will take on the Bantams on Saturday. Due to the nature of tournament play, this game is a must-win for both the Crimson and the Tigers.
“[We’re focusing on] what each player feels they need,” said Bajwa of this week’s training, “and a lot of match-situational play.”
Harvard enters the national tournament after dropping its last two matches—losses to Yale and Princeton, respectively.
The Crimson is 4-2 in Ivy League matches, ending the season right behind the Tigers by finishing third in the league.