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BRIEF: No. 3 Men's Squash Coasts Past Pair of Ranked Foes

Eye on the Ball
Men's squash continued in its dominance over non-conference opponents this past weekend.

In the midst of a five-match homestand, the No. 3 Harvard men’s squash team kept on rolling this weekend at the Murr Center. Facing off against non-conference opponents No. 8 Rochester and No. 12 Drexel, the Crimson (7-1, 2-1 Ivy) extended its streak of 9-0 victories to three consecutive matches. The one blemish on Harvard’s record remains its 4-5 loss at the hands of No. 2 Columbia—other than in that match, the Crimson has not lost any other individual matches this season.

“I think the wins we've had recently against some strong teams are a great showing of the overall fitness and quality of the team right now,” sophomore Sean Hughes said. “While they have been some good performances I think...that we can continue to raise our level of play.”

HARVARD 9, DREXEL 0

Sunday brought more of the same for Harvard’s opponent, this time the Dragons (5-8). The Crimson remains undefeated against Drexel, having won all three of the matches in the schools’ all-time series.

Coach Mike Way went with nearly the same players on the second game of the back-to-back weekend set, and the strategy paid off. The only switch was an appearance from junior Alexi Gosset in the ninth spot, replacing senior Bradley Smith.

Gosset and his younger brother Julien put on two of the more outstanding performances against the Dragons. In his first game action of the weekend, the elder Gosset won his first game, 11-8, and then coasted to a 3-0 victory with consecutive 11-2 scores. Julien Gosset, competing in the seventh spot, conceded just 10 total points across his three-game sweep, 11-4, 11-2, 11-4.

In this match, only two Drexel players managed to win games against Harvard opponents. Hughes played a relatively close match against Bransten Ming, who secured an 11-9 win over Hughes in their second game. However, Hughes managed to beat Ming by a combined seven points in the other three games. In the sixth position, co-captain Madhav Dhingra also dropped his second game, but he likewise rallied in the third and fourth games to take the match.

Even when matches are closely contested, the Crimson seem well-prepared to buckle down and grind out victories.

“Our ability to perform well under pressure comes down to our preparation,” Hughes said. “We've been working hard on court and in the gym, but I think the often less recognized aspect is the mental preparation. Our coaches and team place an emphasis on the mental game on court and off court.”

HARVARD 9, ROCHESTER 0

In Saturday’s match against the Yellowjackets (3-4), the back half of Harvard’s lineup exhibited the most prowess, but players one through nine all came away with victories.

Six Crimson picked up three-game sweeps. Of Harvard's three individual-game losses, it only lost by a combined nine points.

In the top spot, Saadeldin Abouaish handily won his first two games, 11-6 and 11-5. The sophomore faltered in the third game, losing to opponent Ashley Davies, 8-11. However, Abouaish rallied in the fourth contest and secured a match victory with a strong 11-3 mark.

The most dominant performances of the day came from the middle of the pack at the No. 4 and 5 spots. Co-captain David Ryan defeated Rochester’s Ricardo Lopez, 11-5, 11-8, 11-3. Right behind Ryan, rookie Samuel Scherl emerged victorious over Yellowjackets counterpart Matthew Toth, 11-2, 11-5, 11-9.

With Saturday’s triumph, Harvard improves to 10-4 all-time against the Yellowjackets.

—Staff writer Jack Stockless can be reached at jack.stockless@thecrimson.com.

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