November 12, 2008

M. Squash Topples Harvard for First Time in 47 Years

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Both the men’s and women’s squash teams took to the court against Ivy League foes this weekend in a tournament formally known as the Ivy Scrimmages. Both teams came out of the weekend with strong showings as they prepare for the upcoming regular season.
The men’s team, with a starting lineup dominated by freshman and sophomores made history beating Harvard for the first time in 47 years.
“For the first time ever they beat Harvard,” said men’s head coach Mark DeVoy. “First time in 47 years. That’s a pretty big deal…no one has ever put Harvard in the back drawer of a tournament before and we just did it.”
Though it was just a scrimmage, it was apparent that DeVoy couldn’t have been more impressed by the way his team competed.
While coach DeVoy will be looking to last year’s All-Ivy performer, junior co-captain Chris Sachvie as well as sophomore co-captain McKay Claghorn to lead the Red, he was most impressed by the swagger his freshman showed.
“I’m more impressed by how my freshman are playing,” DeVoy said. “I’ve got four freshman in my starting lineup at the moment and that was pretty good to see how they came out for their first collegiate matches.”
Even though Sachvie took an individual loss to Harvard’s No. 1 player, the freshmen were able to pick up the slack to defeat the Crimson, 5-4. Though the Red lost its second match, 5-4, to Yale, the squad had a strong finish to the tournament, winning 7-2 over Penn.
Women’s head coach Julee DeVoy (wife of men’s coach Mark DeVoy) led her women’s team, seeded seventh in the tournament, against formidable opponents Penn, Brown and Dartmouth. Though the women lost their first match, 8-1, to Penn, the second seeded team, DeVoy foresees improvement for the regular season.
“[Penn is] a very strong side,” DeVoy said. “We weren’t expected to beat them. We performed very well against them. We took one match. We had two [7-5] matches, and if they had come our way, then it would have been a 6-3 result. We’ve never been that close to them. The matches were very competitive and we are looking like we are much much closer to higher-ranked teams.”
That was apparent in the Red’s final two matches of the Ivy Scrimmages. Having already lost to highly-seeded Penn and never having beaten its next two opponents, it seemed as if the Red women would be coming out of the scrimmages with a weak outlook for the season. However, led by co-captains senior Alex Cornett and junior Liza Stokes, the Red showed maturity in beating Brown and Dartmouth handily.
“Cornell women have never beaten Brown or Dartmouth, and to beat them both 9-0, even though it is a scrimmage, is an awesome result,” DeVoy said. “And obviously we will be looking to repeat that performance when we play them in season.”
Although Cornell came out of last weekend’s scrimmages confident about its performances against Ivy League opponents, the team knows it must solidify its game in preparation for the season.
“We must work more on our fitness and shot selection” said freshman Shivgani Paranipe.