Coming off a pool play loss against the Big Green in Hanover, N.H., the Crimson executed a second half comeback in a low-scoring affair to claim its second consecutive 7s rugby Ivy League championship.
Making the relatively short trip to western Mass. to participate in the AIC Invitational at American International College, Harvard won its pool and quarterfinal matchup relatively handily before getting knocked out in the championship semifinal, 39-0, against the two-time reigning national champions.
Harvard freshman Gina Kennedy claimed the 2017 Women's Individual Championship in stunning fashion, upsetting overwhelming favorite and two-time national finalist Reeham Sedky of Penn, by a score of 3-1.
Coming off a weekend sweep against top-10 ranked Ivy League opponents Cornell and Columbia, the last two victims of the Crimson’s undefeated start, the Harvard women had momentum. Their winning streak continued on Wednesday, as the Crimson coasted to an 8-1 final decision over the Bantams.
For most other sports teams, sweeping the weekend against two of the top eight teams in the nation would be celebrated as a huge accomplishment, or maybe even the highlight of a season. But the No. 1 Harvard women’s squash sees it as something to be expected.
Despite the strong start, the Crimson did not allow itself to let up against its foe from the West Coast. The two dropped sets by No. 7 Sophie Mehta and No. 9 MacGowan both went into tiebreakers. Other than those blemishes, Harvard came up with a thorough victory, up and down the lineup card.
Losses, especially against Ivy League rivals, are hardly ever motivating. But coming off a close five-set loss against conference-leading Princeton last weekend, Harvard will be hungry to win against two other Ancient Eight opponents on the road trip of the season.