The Cornell men’s squash team (2-1, 1-1 Ivy) left Ithaca on Friday looking to make early waves in the Ivy League. Little did the squad know that the weekend would bring unprecedented results.
The Red rebounded from a loss to Penn on Saturday to make Cornell squash history on Sunday by beating Princeton for the first time in 39 matches — a stretch dating back to 1956-57.
“Princeton sets the benchmark in the [collegiate] squash world,” said head men’s coach Mark Devoy. “That was the [match] to get. It was just an awesome weekend.”
Traveling with the team for the first time, Devoy got a good taste of Cornell men’s squash by watching the team beat Franklin & Marshall by a count of 9-0. The one-sided contest saw top play by each one of the Red’s nine starters and seemed to portend a victory the next night against perennial powerhouse Penn.
Unfortunately for the Red, it came out at the opposite end of another lop-sided score, a 7-2 loss to the Quakers.
“We came out played hard and put up a lot of close scores,” Devoy said. “Our overall play though, was just a little flat.”
The Red, playing its third match in three days, finished off the weekend in style with a 6-3 win over No. 4 Princeton. Cornell won all the matches in the No. 2-6 spots in the lineup, highlighted by junior William Cheng’s victory at No. 2.
“Cheng provided the team with a big morale boost,” Devoy said. “It was impressive to see what they do under pressure — they put in an entire team effort.”
Also earning wins against the Tigers were senior Mike Delany and junior Ben Bernstein.
After their win over F&M on Friday, the women’s side faced daunting Ivy foes Penn and Princeton in two matches that turned out to be testaments to their hard-work and determination. Although neither match went in the Red’s favor — it lost both 9-0 — the team left with high spirits and a positive outlook.
“I was generally really pleased with the team’s play,” said head women’s coach Julee Devoy. “We stayed positive, had good rallies and took our points.”
The women’s win on Friday was highlighted by victories in spots No. 2-9, including straight-set wins by senior Brooke Stetson and junior Allison Laycob. All the women, however, ran into stalwart opponents in the last two matches and came up short across the board.
“From here we are only going to go forward,” Julee Devoy said. “[The women] have all the shots they need. Now we are going to work on building on that basic game.”
Each side takes the court next on Dec. 3rd when the squads host Western Ontario.
Archived article by Matt Gorman
Sun Staff Writer