No. 3 Yale Tops No. 7 Princeton in 5-4 Thriller

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Eric Caine. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

PRINCETON, N.J. — The No. 3 Yale Bulldogs ended their weekend in exciting fashion Sunday with a 5-4 victory over the No. 7 Princeton Tigers. Despite facing an early deficit, the Elis fought hard against their Ivy League rivals and ground out a narrow victory.

From the start, Yale (12-1, 4-0 Ivy) faced stiff opposition from host Princeton (4-6, 2-3 Ivy). In the first set of matches, Yale suffered two defeats, but freshman Liam McClintock came from behind to win in five games at No. 6. 

In the second set of matches, Yale rallied behind the efforts of  freshman Kah Wah Cheong and junior Joseph Roberts. At the fifth spot, Cheong handled his opponent in straight sets to even the match for the Bulldogs, while No. 8 Roberts edged out Princeton's Ben Leizman in five back-and-forth games (8-11,12-10,9-11,11-4,11-8). Roberts' win gave Yale a 3-2 lead, but Princeton quickly responded, winning the No. 2 matchup to even the contest at three games apiece.

Yale and Princeton remained neck and neck throughout the final set of matches. Princeton No. 1 Samuel King topped Yale senior Neil Martin, but freshman Thomas Dembinski dispatched his opponent 3-0 to give Yale the win at the No. 4 position. 

This left the match in the hands of the No. 7 men: Yale senior captain Eric Caine and Princeton senior Ash Egan. Caine, who clinched the match for Yale in its 5-4 victory over St. Lawrence on Jan. 24, jumped out to a 2-0 lead with a pair of 11-4 wins. Egan battled back, however, taking the next two games to set up a deciding fifth game. Once again, Caine came through for the Bulldogs, taking the fifth game 11-8 to win the math and give Yale the 5-4 victory.

The win was a testament to the poise and depth of the Yale squad. Although Princeton triumphed in the top three matchups, the middle and bottom of Yale's lineup proved to be the difference in the contest, as the Bulldogs got their five wins from positions four through eight. 

With the win, the Elis remain undefeated in Ivy League play, a streak they hope to continue when they face No. 19 Brown in Providence, R.I. next Tuesday. The Bulldogs will return to the Brady Squash Center on Friday , Feb. 7 to take on Harvard in a rivalry matchup between two powerhouse teams. The Yale-Harvard match will begin at 6 p.m.

Report by Evan Brown '16, Yale Sports Publicity

Results:

Princeton University Rating Yale University Rating Winner's Score Winner Status
1S Kang,Samuel 0.000 Martin,Neil 0.000 11-7,11-5,11-5 Princeton University C
2S Osborne,Tyler 0.000 Fenwick,Sam 0.000 11-6,11-1,11-1 Princeton University C
3S Ward,Dylan 0.000 Leman,Zachary 0.000 11-6,11-7,9-11,11-9 Princeton University C
4S Hoffman,David G. 0.000 Dembinski,Thomas J 0.000 11-6,11-6,11-3 Yale University C
5S Tutrone,Taylor W 0.000 Cheong,Kah Wah Non-member 11-6,11-6,11-3 Yale University C
6S LeBlanc,Michael A 0.000 McClintock,Liam W. 0.000 6-11,11-6,6-11,11-5,11-8 Yale University C
7S Egan,Ash 0.000 Caine,Eric B 0.000 11-4,11-4,4-11,8-11,11-8 Yale University C
8S Leizman,Ben B. 0.000 Roberts,Joseph L 0.000 8-11,12-10,9-11,11-4,11-8 Yale University C
9S East,Michael T. 0.000 Roberts,Joseph L 0.000 11-6,13-11,5-11,11-6 Princeton University C
10S Lee,Jacob 0.000 Dewire,Peter J. 0.000 11-2,11-7,11-9 Yale University

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