Jan. 29, 2005
New Haven, CT - For the second time in four days, Julian Illingworth defeated a former national champion. This time, Princeton's Yasser El-Halaby was his victim, but unlike his victory over Trinity's Bernardo Samper on Wednesday, the No. 3 ranked Elis (6-1, 4-0 Ivy) earned a convincing 8-1 victory.
After dropping the first two games, Illingworth rallied, winning the next two and pulling ahead 8-2 in the decisive fifth game. On match ball, El-Halaby and Illingworth went back and forth in one of the match's longest points and most intense points, but Illingworth was able to put it away.
"The fifth game was one of the best I've ever played," Illingworth said. "I felt I just got stronger as the match went on. [On match point, El-Halaby] had some desperation energy left in him. I was really focused because I didn't want to give him any chance."
Illingworth is the only collegian to defeat El-Halaby, the two-time defending national champion, twice.
Illingworth was not the only Bulldog who provided the crowd with a thrilling match. Moshe Sarfaty and Chris Wyant also kept squash fans on the edges of their seats with victories in the fifth game.
The 8-1 win came on the heels of Yale's first loss to No. 1 ranked Trinity on Wednesday.
"It was great that we could come right back [after a loss]," Yale head coach Dave Talbott said. "[Princeton is] pretty solid."
The Elis host Brown Feb. 5 at 2:00 p.m., a match that was moved up from its original date (Feb. 9) after Yale's trip to Denison was canceled.
1. Julian Illingworth (Y) def. Yasser El-Halaby (P), 3-2
2. Josh Schwartz (Y) def. Robert Hong (P), 3-1
3. Moshe Sarfaty (Y) def. Michale Gilman (P), 3-2
4. Nick Chirls (Y) def. Preston Comey (P), 3-1
5. Tom McKay (P) def. Trevor Reese (Y), 3-2
6. Gavin Cumberbatch (Y) def. Parker Sutton (P), 3-0
7. Chris Wyant (Y) def. Vincent Yu (P), 3-2
8. Ho Ming Chiu (Y) def. Rob Silverd (P), 3-0
9. Max Samuel def. Tim Callahan (P), 3-0
Report filed by Sean Singer `06, Yale Sports Publicity