Just one loss would mean elimination from contention for the Ivy League title. Two wins, and No. 3 men’s squash would have a shot at a split crown with No. 2 Columbia and its second consecutive league championship.
On a weekend when Harvard needed to win against both Yale and Brown to remain in Ivy League contention, the starters delivered. However, the Lions likewise delivered in their weekend matches, maintaining their undefeated Ancient Eight record and barely eclipsing the Crimson (11-1, 6-1 Ivy) for the title.
Harvard breezed through its pair of must-win contests, but Columbia nearly lost its final match against Penn. The Lions were knotted at four all through eight matches with the Quakers. However, Osama Khalifa put to all doubt to rest as he dispatched Penn’s Andrew Douglas in three games, securing Columbia’s place atop the league standings and its first outright championship.
“It was definitely disappointing to come so close to an Ivy title, but I...am confident that we will use that as motivation in the coming match against Trinity and the national championship,” sophomore Sean Hughes said.
HARVARD 9, BROWN 0
The Crimson closed out its Ivy League schedule with a convincing win over No. 13 Brown (7-7, 1-6) at home at the Murr Center. Harvard won all of its games on Sunday, sweeping the Bears in all nine individual matches.
With a pair of victories in the second match of the weekend, Hughes and co-captain David Ryan maintained their undefeated marks this season. Hughes has not lost a match in his collegiate career, going a perfect 26-0 so far.
“We play every match with the same diligence and focus,” Hughes said. “I think this attitude has led to these good results.”
This year, Hughes has anchored the number three spot, while Ryan has played the majority of his matches at the four.
Aside from the pair of undefeated Crimson, Harvard’s seven other competitors had no difficulty with Brown’s challengers. At the four slot, co-captain Madhav Dhingra closed out his match with an 11-0 victory, and 22 out of the team's 27 games were decided by more than two points.
HARVARD 9, YALE 0
The Crimson remained afloat in the battle for the top Ancient Eight spot on Friday. Traveling to New Haven, Conn., Harvard swept No. 9 Yale (8-8, 2-5) for its sixth consecutive win.
“It was an away match against an experienced team, so it showed that the hard training we've done over the season has paid off,” Hughes said.
Saadeldin Abouaish has faced some rigorous competition at the top spot all season, and once again the sophomore displayed his penchant for winning under pressure. Abouaish won the first, third, and fifth games of his match, and each win required more than 11 points to secure.
Sophomore Timothy Brownell picked up a rare come-from-behind victory, competing in the second position. Brownell dropped the first two games of his matchup against the Bulldogs’ Harrison Gill, but he clawed back for three close victories to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.
The shutout was the team’s first against Yale since 2007.
—Staff writer Jack Stockless can be reached at email@example.com.
No. 1 Men's Squash Win Ivy Title After Downing Brown, YaleHarvard claimed sole possession of the Ancient Eight title by defeating No. 8 Yale, 5-4, and posting its second undefeated Ivy season in the past three years. Earlier in the weekend, the Crimson had clinched at least a share of the title after its 8-1 win over No. 20 Brown.
Men's Squash Bests Columbia and Yale, Falls to Trinity in National Championship
Men's Squash Blanks No. 3 St. LawrenceAgainst a St. Lawrence team that had already racked up wins against Ivy League rivals No. 7 Princeton and No. 5 Penn, the Crimson squashed its opponent. In three games, opposing teams have yet to earn a single match against the No. 2 ranked Harvard.
Men's Squash Sweeps Cornell, Records First-Ever Loss against ColumbiaJust one day after strolling to an easy 9-0 win at Cornell, Harvard suffered its first defeat of the 2017-2018 season at the hands of a fellow Ancient Eight competitor in No. 4 Columbia, 5-4.
BRIEF: No. 3 Men's Squash Coasts Past Pair of Ranked Foes