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The Harvard men’s squash team took care of business on the road last night in an early season two-match contest.
Led by sophomore Brandon McLaughlin, the No. 5 Crimson (3-0, 1-0 Ivy) dropped No. 7 Dartmouth (3-1, 0-1) in convincing fashion, 8-1, and immediately followed that up with a 9-0 sweep of No. 17 Middlebury (0-3).
An impressive Ivy League victory over the Big Green was highlighted by three-game sweeps in seven out of the nine contests.
“Our guys worked very hard, and we’re very pleased,” Harvard coach Mike Way said.
HARVARD 9, MIDDLEBURY 0
Harvard dominated from one to nine in the lineup, with the entire team losing a combined three games while cruising to the lopsided win.
It was the second of two matches on the night for the Crimson, who just moments earlier had sealed a win over Dartmouth.
“Playing right after [the Dartmouth match] definitely made it more difficult,” said McLaughlin, who opened the match with a straight-game win over Middlebury’s Valentin Quan.
After dropping his second contest, sophomore Gary Power bounced back to win two straight and defeat Jay Dolan, 3-1. Sophomore Nigel Koh won by the same margin after taking the final two games from the Panthers’ Parker Hurst.
Hurst also lost to freshman Nick Hopkroft in a three-game sweep in the next match.
In a matchup with Middlebury’s Cooper Redbath, freshman Tyler Olson took the first two games, 12-10 and 11-9, before dropping the third, but sealed the victory with an 11-3 tally in the fourth game.
Sophomore Thomas Mullaney and freshman Julian Kirby both dominated their opponenets in straight-game victories. Mullaney only dropped 10 points in his contest, while Kirby dropped just six for the most convincing win of the night.
Junior Alexander Ma took his first game before his opponent retired with an injury, giving the Crimson a clean sweep.
Despite the one-sided result, Way praised Middlebury for its preparation and fitness.
“They gave our guys a good run for our money,” he said.
HARVARD 8, DARTMOUTH 1
The Crimson won handily against the Big Green, dropping only five games to a team that graduated only one player after finishing last season ranked seventh in the nation.
In the first matchup, McLaughlin was pitted against Dartmouth junior and two-time All-American Chris Hanson. After a strong performance, the Harvard sophomore came out with a 3-0 victory.
“[Hanson] is a bloody strong player,” Way said. “Brandon just played a remarkable match.”
After a rare stumble from Power in a five-game match against Big Green senior Nick Sisodia, the Crimson would not lose another match on the evening.
Koh defeated Chris Jung in straight games. After an 11-8 victory in his fifth and final contest, Hopcroft pulled out a 3-2 victory over Dartmouth’s Luke Lee.
Fellow rookie Olson then swept Big Green junior Robbie Maycock in straight matches, 11-9, 11-5, 11-7.
Way was particularly pleased with the play of Olson. The rookie is undefeated early in the season and has yet to drop a game.
“He’s showing a maturity beyond what I would expect at this juncture,” the coach said.
Despite two close games, junior Zeke Scherl swept Dartmouth senior Stephen Wetherill with an 11-5 third-game victory to continue Harvard’s winning streak.
Mullaney earned a sweep of his own, as did Kirby, who dropped only eight points en route to his win over Big Green senior Brian O’Toole.
Ma closed out Harvard’s victory with a convincing straight-game victory over Dartmouth’s Fletcher Pease.
Way was quick to credit Dartmouth, saying the score line didn’t properly reflect the Big Green’s talent.
“They’re actually a very strong team,” he said.
On the whole, the coach was pleased with his team’s play in its first Ivy League matchup of the young season.
“[The group] has been training very hard, and they clearly looked to be the fitter team,” he said. “I was very proud of our guys.”
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