Bulldogs Open Ivy League Play on the Road
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The No. 6 Yale men's squash team (3-0) will look to extend its winning streak to five this weekend with matches at No. 4 Cornell (5-0) and No. 9 Columbia (1-1). The Bulldogs will face Cornell in Ithaca, N.Y., on Saturday before traveling to New York City on Sunday for their match against Columbia.
The trip marks the end of a four-match road campaign for the Bulldogs, who defeated Colby and Williams on Jan. 5 in Williamstown, Mass. Freshman Sam Fenwick, who won at No. 4 against Franklin & Marshall on Nov. 30, is set to return after missing the Jan. 5 matches to compete in the Welsh Nationals, where he reached the quarterfinals.
Cornell has gotten off to a strong start this season, winning matches against No. 11 Western Ontario, No. 12 Williams, No. 21 Hamilton and No. 25 Stanford at a round robin tournament it hosted in November. On Dec. 2, the Big Red traveled to Columbia for a fiercely contested match that ended 5-4 in its favor. Four Cornell players (Graham Dietz, Aditya Jagtap, Abhijit Malik and Ryan Todd) are undefeated on the season.
Saturday's showdown should prove exciting for the Elis, who have a history of close matches against Cornell. When the teams played last January, Yale fought for a 5-4 victory, but the Big Red bounced back for their meeting in the postseason, upsetting the Bulldogs in the first round of the Potter Cup and ending their campaign for the national championship. Yale and Cornell played just once in the 2010-11 season; Yale won 6-3.
Sunday features a less predictable opponent for the Bulldogs. The Lions have played just two matches this season: a 9-0 win against Georgetown on Nov. 30 and the previously mentioned 5-4 loss to Cornell on Dec. 2. Ending a long winter break, Columbia will play two more matches before its meeting with Yale, hosting Brown on Jan. 12 and Navy on the morning of Jan. 13, the same day as the Yale match.
While Yale defeated Columbia 6-3 last January in New Haven, the Lions should not be taken lightly. After attaining varsity status in the 2010-2011 season, Columbia's men's squash team has won two consecutive Barnaby Awards, given by the College Squash Association to the program that has shown the most improvement from the previous season. Yale won the Barnaby Award in 2010 after capturing the Ivy League title.
Saturday's match against Cornell will be played at 11 a.m. at the Belkin Squash Courts in Ithaca, New York. Sunday's match against Columbia will be played at 2:30 p.m. at the SL Green StreetSquash Center in New York City.
Report by Joe Giammittorio '15, Yale Sports Publicity