The No. 6 Harvard men’s squash team entered its last match of the regular season against the No. 2 Yale Bulldogs hoping to repeat its strong performance that it showed against an undefeated Trinity team last Wednesday.
The Crimson (7-5, 3-3 Ivy) only took two matches from the Bulldogs (13-1, 6-0 Ivy), with the day ending in a 7-2 victory for Yale. The Bulldogs also went home with their second consecutive Ivy League championship title.
“As you could see it was a tough match,” Harvard coach Mike Way said. “We knew that we were up against the strongest team and that showed today.”
Last year, the Bulldogs overpowered Harvard, 8-1, in the final match of the season to earn the Ivy title.
Despite the loss, the Crimson left Barnaby Courts Saturday on a positive note after freshman and No. 1 Gary Power defeated his opponent in an extremely close and exciting fifth set. The victory gave Harvard its second individual win of the day.
Power, who had one of the three impressive victories in last Wednesday’s match against Trinity, took an early 3-0 lead in his first set and went on to win, 11-6.
The tables were turned in the second set when Power’s opponent took an early five-point lead. The freshman was unable to make a comeback, losing the set, 11-8.
Tied one set apiece, the third set played out similarly to the second, with Power again falling into an early 5-1 hole from which he was unable to recover. He lost, 11-7.
In the fourth set, Power came back, winning 11-8 and tying the match at two sets apiece.
At that point, it was anyone’s game, and Power made it his, quickly grabbing a 4-0 lead in the fifth set.
But his opponent battled hard, eventually tying the score, 9-9.
Power won the next point and was only one away from victory when his opponent scored twice in a row, going ahead, 11-10.
Just when it looked like it was all over, Power fought back to win the next two points, setting the score at 12-11. He was once again a single point away from success.
The crowd held its breath as the two players battled relentlessly in a rally that seemed to go on forever.
Then, with a quick stroke of his racquet, Power took the next and final point, winning the fifth set, 13-11, and the match, 3-2.