November 30, 2001

Squash Faces Uphill Battle

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Being in the Ivy League, both the men’s and women’s squash teams face the toughest competition in the country, maybe even the world, year in and year out. But tomorrow both squads will most likely confront their stiffest competition yet when they play Harvard. The Crimson has perennially been one of the best teams in the country and is seeded No. 1 and No. 2 in the women’s and men’s national rankings, respectively.

This will be the fourth match for both the men’s and women’s teams, who boast an identical 2-1 record and No. 6 ranking. After both squads beat Penn and Western Ontario Nov. 17, they both returned to action a weekend later losing to Princeton. The men’s team was swept by the No. 4 national team, 9-0. The women’s team fared better, though, as the three top Red women took their matches for the 6-3 result.

Harvard’s squads have only had one contest thus far this season against fellow Ivy Brown. Neither the men nor women sacrificed a point to the No. 7 women and No. 11 men Bears.

Harvard also boasts some of the best collegiate players in the nation. While five of the men’s players are in the top 40, two — juniors Peter Karlen and James Bullock — are in the top 10. Tim Nagel and Neal Soo are the only Cornellians in the list at the No. 23 and No. 38 spots, respectively.

Also competing with the men will be MIT — a program that is far below the levels of Cornell and Harvard, as it was seeded No. 24 in the nation.

The women’s matchup should provide some close individual contests. No. 4 senior Olga Puigdemont-Sola will most likely challenge No. 3 Louisa Hall in a precursor to a potential national title match. However, the rest of the Red team will have an upward battle as three other Crimson players are listed among the best 15 in the country. Puigdemont-Sola is Cornell’s sole ranked player.

Neither the men nor women have ever notched a win against Harvard in a dual meet as the men are 0-for-29, and the women are 0-for-5 five in the programs’ histories.

Nevertheless, they both will have a chance to mar the Crimson’s unblemished record against Cornell teams tomorrow. The women begin their match at noon, while the men take the court at 2:30 p.m.

Archived article by Amanda Angel