The Harvard women’s squash team swept No. 10 Brown (9-7, 1-5 Ivy), 9-0, Friday night, submitting a strong performance ahead of Sunday’s matchup with No. 2 Yale. With the victory, the No. 1 Crimson (13-0, 6-0 Ivy) preserved its unbeaten season and its top ranking, which it has held all year.
In what was largely a tune-up for Sunday’s showdown, Harvard’s top nine did not drop a single game, completing a perfect regular season campaign at home.
The Crimson was keyed by freshman Amanda Sobhy, who earned a win at the No. 1 spot with a 3-0 rout of her opponent, the Bears’ Dori Rahbar, losing only three points in the process.
At the No. 2 position, junior Laura Gemmell won in similar fashion, defeating Brown’s Sarah Domenick, 11-0, 11-0, 11-5.
Co-captain and No. 3 Nirasha Guruge had a slightly more difficult time in dispatching her opponent, Brown No. 3 Sarah Crosky, but she ultimately prevailed in three games, 11-3, 11-5, 11-8.
Guruge said she found the contest more challenging psychologically than physically due to the presumed gap in talent between her and Crosky.
“I find these matches tougher,” Guruge said. “Everyone expects you to win easily, so I put more pressure on myself. Obviously, you have to do your best and respect your opponent always.”
With wins at No. 6 and No. 8, respectively, junior Sarah Mumanachit and freshman Megan Murray joined Sobhy and Gemmell in continuing their undefeated individual seasons.
Mumanachit defeated Brown’s Lydia Smith, 11-3, 12-10, 11-3, and Murray likewise cruised in straight sets, taking down Sarah Beresford of Brown, 11-5, 11-5, 11-4.
The win extended Harvard’s dominance of the Ivy League, giving the team its third straight sweep of an Ancient Eight opponent.
But the memory of a scare in Ivy League play earlier in the season forced the Crimson to focus against Brown, despite being heavy favorites.
“Princeton scared the crap out of us,” Harvard coach Mike Way said. “We dodged a bullet there and squeaked out that win [5-4, on Feb. 5]. So this was business. Let’s get the job done.”
But although he expected his team to win handily, Way saw no need for fiery motivational tactics; he let his team’s play do the talking.
“The coach’s job is to get [the players’] heads in the right space,” Way said. “They know the game plan; the girls know it’s there.”
The lopsided result reflected the nature of the two teams’ matchups throughout history. Harvard’s win improved its record against Brown to a perfect 43-0, including 22 shutouts.
The team’s perfect home record will be put to the test just one more time, when the Murr Center plays host to the CSA Team Championships from Feb. 24 to 26.
Zhu To Lead 137th Crimson GuardPeter F. Zhu '11 will lead the newly-elected 137th Guard of The Harvard Crimson, the paper's outgoing president announced today.
Harvard Rolls Over Inaugural FoesThe weekend’s victories boosted Harvard women's squash to a 2-0 record, a start that surprises none given the team’s stacked lineup and a national championship appearance last year.
Crimson Justifies Ranking with Two Wins
Squash Clinches Share of Title With Sweep
Mourning Has No BordersBy urging all Americans to take emotional ownership over the event, we cast a US-centric and nationalist stance on 9/11 and allows us to emotionally detach from wars taking place abroad.
Men’s Squash Crushes Brown, 9-0