January 19, 2001

Squash Teams End Ivy Play

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Fresh off key victories over Dartmouth last weekend, both the men’s and women’s squash teams head into their final weekend of Ivy League play with a high level of confidence. The Red will first do battle against perennial powerhouse Yale Saturday afternoon at the new Belkin International Squash Courts, and then face off Sunday against Brown.

For the men’s squad (3-4, 2-2 Ivy), the Elis will present the stiffest test of the weekend, which will also include a Saturday evening match against Hamilton. Yale, currently ranked number four in the nation and a contender for the national championship, has easily dispatched of the Red in recent years.

Sophomore co-captain Jeff Porter acknowledged that Yale would be a difficult match for the squad, but added that “both [Yale and Brown] are winnable matches if we play well.”

While a noticeably weaker team than Yale, Brown nonetheless will also be an important match for the men. A victory over the Bears would likely ensure that the team finishes in the top eight in the country, which means it would play in the ‘A’ flight at the national championships next month. Cornell defeated Brown back in November at the Ivy Scrimmages.

Providing the men with a boost heading into this weekend was the 7-2 win over the Big Green last weekend. Cornell had not defeated Dartmouth in more than a decade prior to that match.

“[The Dartmouth win] really got us believing in ourselves,” Porter said. “We had a good week of practice.”

Like their male counterparts, the women’s team (1-3, 1-3 Ivy) hopes to parlay a hard-fought victory over Dartmouth into a few more league wins this weekend. Last Saturday, the women narrowly defeated the Big Green 5-4, with junior Andrea McNeeley winning the pivotal match at the no. 3 position.

“It was really inspiring,” junior Melinda Lee said. “We have more confidence [after last weekend].”

Both Yale and Brown will be tough foes for the women, as each team is currently ranked in the top eight in the country along with Cornell.

“We’re going to have to play at the top of our game,” Lee said.

The women have already faced Yale once this year, when the two teams met in the Ivy Scrimmages back in November. Cornell won that match, but the result was close.

“We’ve done it once,” Lee said of beating Yale. “We can do it again.”

The two matches will be the final home contests for the women’s team. The men will return home one last time in mid-February.

Archived article by Shiva Nagaraj