Squash: Men and women chase opportunity to clinch Ivy League titles
The Tigers know that the Big Red will be a tough opponent, but they are used to keeping their nerve in high-stakes matches, most recently against Harvard. The Crimson had been favored to win. After eight matches, the teams were tied 4-4, when Princeton junior Dylan Ward defeated his opponent to secure the win.
“We have a very deep lineup, and we can rely on all the players to win crucial matches,” freshman Vivek Dinodia said. “I feel we’re an experienced bunch of players who know how to hold [our] nerves in big points.”
The Tigers have put in a lot of practice time this week to prepare for Cornell, as conditioning and technique are very important in squash matches.
“Cornell is very strong this year with some great players across the board, but ... we’re all in good shape, we feel healthy and confident, and that’s what matters at the end of the day,” Dinodia said.
Freshman Sam Ezratty agreed that while the Big Red poses a legitmate threat to the Tigers’ thus far perfect record, they are confident in their training.
“Cornell is a very strong team and a formidable opponent, [but] hopefully our preparation this week will help us secure the win,” Ezratty said.
Princeton’s upcoming match against Cornell has several crucial implications. Besides upholding the Tigers’ undefeated record, a win against Cornell would be another step for Princeton toward the Ivy League championship. After Cornell, Princeton will face No. 13 Western Ontario on Saturday and No. 11 Columbia on Sunday in the Ivy League finale. If the Tigers can win against both Cornell and Columbia, they would clinch what would be their 17th Ivy League championship.
“[Our] greatest strengths are our depth and our drive to play for each other,” Ezratty said. “Motivated by our coaches and teammates, all of our players have found a way to win no matter what the circumstances. This drive will hopefully come into play against Cornell and Columbia this weekend.”
The women’s team looks to complete the regular season with their sixth Ivy League title. The Tigers (9-0 overall, 5-0 Ivy League) are currently undefeated and aim to clinch a spot atop the CSA in the Howe Cup team championships on Feb. 15-17 at Yale. First, however, they will open the weekend on Friday against Cornell. Their Saturday game against Trinity was cancelled due to the expected inclement weather and will not be rescheduled this season.
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