December 4, 2008

M. and W. Squashers Will Host Strong Crimson Squads

Print More

The men’s and women’s squash teams will host a formidable Ivy opponent this weekend, one that is similar to the Red in several ways — Harvard.
[img_assist|nid=34002|title=Squash the competition|desc=This Saturday the men’s squash team will hope to repeat its success from last year in toppling Harvard for the first time in program history.|link=node|align=left|width=|height=0]
Kicking off a strong season in which the men’s team defeated this Ancient Eight rival for the first time in school history, the Red will look to accomplish that same feat again when it faces the Crimson on Saturday at home.
Cornell (2-1) couldn’t have started off this fall on a higher note: blanking Franklin and Marshall 9-0 on Nov. 21 before shutting down then-ranked No. 7 Penn the next day 8-1.
However, the squad fell to Princeton that Sunday.
Sophomore co-captain McKay Claghorn has been optimistic thus far about the results he’s seen, projecting confidence in the ability of this young team to maintain or better its preseason ranking of sixth in the nation:
“We barely lost to Yale [in the Ivy scrimmages], who was ranked third last year,” Claghorn said. “Two weekends ago we beat Penn … which was huge for us. We definitely have it in us to beat Harvard again.”
The Crimson, currently ranked fourth nationally, has also been cruising along so far, defeating Brown and Williams with the same margins of victory Cornell posted against its first two opponents.
In addition, another parallel between the two teams can be found in their personnel: both rosters feature only a few seniors (Andrew McReynolds is the only senior listed on the Cornell roster).
The last time these two teams met in a regular-season match — Dec. 1, 2007 — Harvard narrowly escaped with the win, 5-4, at Cambridge.
Cornell will face the Crimson at 10 a.m., at the Belkin Courts at East Hill.
The women’s squashers will also face off against Harvard at home on Saturday. This team (1-2) has seen mixed results thus far this season, blanking both Brown and Dartmouth in the Ivy scrimmages, but losing 2-7 to both Penn and Princeton in its last two matches.
The Harvard women’s team has had a perfect start to the season, winning all their games against Brown and Williams (they played Dartmouth last night).
“Our overall goal this year is to place in the top six or seven,” said junior co-captain Liza Stokes. “We’re looking to beat teams that used to be our close competitors and have close matches with the top schools.”
Harvard is included as one such “top school,” ranked fourth nationally like their men’s counterparts, but Cornell isn’t far behind at No. 7.
The match against Harvard will be the last of 2008 for Cornell, taking a reprieve before returning to action in January at the Yale Round Robin. The women will play at noon on Saturday, two hours after the men start play.