No. 3 Bulldogs Beat No. 4 Harvard, Finish Second in Ivy League

Samuel Clayman. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Samuel Clayman. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

NEW HAVEN, Conn.- The No. 3 Yale men's squash team rounded out a memorable regular season with an exciting 5-4 win over No. 4 Harvard Sunday at the Brady Squash Center. With the win, the Bulldogs clinched second-place in the Ivy League, a game behind No. 2 Princeton. 

The Elis worked hard for every inch against the Crimson, fittingly riding wins from three seniors in their final home matches to the victory. The hero of the upset of No. 1 Trinity, senior John Roberts, had one of the easier Yale wins of the day, sweeping Nicholas Hopcroft 11-8, 11-8, 11-3 at the No. 3 spot. Classmate Samuel Clayman was pushed further at No. 7, needing four games (11-5, 5-11, 11-9, 11-6) to do away with Julian Kirby for the match-clinching win. But Robert Berner's No. 6 match was the toughest of the three, as he gutted out a five-game win. After dropping the first game 12-10, Berner bounced back to take game two (11-5). But he fell again in game three, this time by a score of 7-11, and had to bounce back with a crucial 13-11 win in the fourth frame. Berner then held on for an 11-9 win in the fifth and final game to complete the impressive win.

Junior Richard Dodd had to work hard in his No. 2 match, needing four games (11-7,6-11,11-8,12-10) to dispose of Brandon McLaughlin. Sophomore Neil Martin earned a sweep at No. 5, 11-9,11-7,11-4.

The win broke a tie for second in the Ancient Eight between the Crimson and Bulldogs, giving Yale the edge. Last weekend's loss to Princeton left the Elis out of the title hunt coming into Sunday's match, but the win over Harvard will solidify Yale's No. 3 ranking heading into the CSA Team Championships next weekend at Princeton. 

Yale's 14-1 record gives the Elis a higher winning percentage this year than in 2010-11, when they posted a 15-2 record. Despite not bringing home the Ivy League title this year as they did last season, the highlight of the Bulldogs' season heading into the CSA Championships is undoubtedly the team's epic come-from-behind win over Trinity, who had not lost in 13 years heading into that match. The Bulldogs and Bantams could be headed for a rematch next weekend. The Elis may also get a shot for revenge at the host Tigers, who provided the lone blemish on their 2011-12 schedule. 

Report by Chelsea Janes '12, Yale Sports Publicity