Squash: Women dethrone No. 1 Crimson at home
Both the men's and women's squash teams played their biggest matches of the season to date on Sunday, and both teams came out of Jadwin Gymnasium with victories. A day after cruising to wins over Dartmouth, both Princeton squads won tight, hard-fought victories against Harvard, as the men and women each finished with 5-4 wins.
In their matches against No. 1 Harvard, the underclassmen put forth particularly strong showings, as freshmen Rachel Leizman and Tara Harrington won in the No. 4 and No. 9 spots, respectively, while the No. 3 and No. 8 matches were claimed by sophomores Nicole Bunyan and Hallie Dewey.
Many players saw intense matches, and the Tigers were able to prove themselves by securing wins in tight situations, as three Princeton victories came by 3-2 scores. Junior Alex Sawin won the final match in four games, including a 16-14 thriller in the fourth, to secure the victory.
This encounter was Princetonís first win against the Crimson, the reigning Ivy League champion, since 2009. Last year, the Tigers fell by the same 5-4 score at Harvard, which went on to win the national title.
"We've always known we could do it," sophomore No. 5 Alex Lunt said. "It was nice to end up on the other side."
On Saturday, the womenís team swept Dartmouth 9-0 to open its Ivy League schedule. Saturdayís matches provided the Tigers with a confidence boost as not a single player dropped a game, each winning 3-0.
The team took advantage of those matches to come back from break and into Ivy League play at the highest possible level of athleticism.
"Coming up to this weekend, with returning from break then having a huge weekend, there's a lot of mixed emotions and nerves, but a whole lot more excitement," Lunt said. "The win against Dartmouth helped to calm nerves and reassure us that we have been working so hard and it's not just chance. It made us confident, more excited and less nervous about facing Harvard."
The men also returned from a long break to easily beat Dartmouth, winning eight of their nine individual matches. Those wins put the No. 1 Tigers in an optimal position to face a more daunting task against No. 3 Harvard the next day.
While the Tigers secured victories in the No. 2, 3, 5 and 9 spots, the Crimson's Zeke Scherl secured a victory at No. 7 that pulled Harvard within 4-3. The crucial match came down to junior No. 4 Dylan Ward, who, in a repeat of last season's Harvard match, served as the deciding factor in Princeton's victory over the Crimson, winning in four games.
With their wins this weekend, both teams will continue on the road in hopes of an Ivy League title; the men and women are both undefeated overall and have two Ivy League victories under their belts.
"This is my second year on the team, and weíve always really looked forward to this part of the season," Lunt said. "It's the height of when we can come and show everyone how hard we've been working."