February 10, 2009

M. Squash Fails to Halt Trinity’s Streak

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History was not to be made this past weekend, as the men’s squash team fell to No. 1-ranked Trinity, 0-9, on Saturday afternoon at the Belkin International Squash Courts. The Bantams extended their win streak to 198 consecutive matches –– the nation’s longest active winning streak in any intercollegiate varsity sport. The Red was, however, able to close out its regular season on a high note, shutting out both Brown and Hobart, 9-0. Cornell stands at 12-3 on the season, with a 4-2 record in the Ivy League.
“Our first match [against Trinity] was obviously going to be a tough one, because they’ve been undefeated for … nine years, and we just went into the match trying to play our game and see how we could match up against that kind of opponent,” said sophomore captain McKay Claghorn, who managed to take his Trinity opponent to four games. “A bunch of us got in good games, and everyone played good squash.”
The Red saw some quality performances from its exhibition players –– namely junior Chris Vernick and senior Andrew McReynolds. Vernick won the first two games of his match, 9-4, 9-5, before dropping the next three, 6-9, 5-9, 7-9. Playing at the No. 11 position, McReynolds won his match, three games to love. [img_assist|nid=34910|title=Squash the competition|desc=Freshman Lauren Sachvie and the women’s squash team won its final three regular-season matches by a combined score of 26-1.|link=node|align=left|width=|height=0]
“Andrew, our only senior on the team, definitely had the best match of the weekend,” said Claghorn.
ESPN’s camera crew, which has been following the Trinity squad around as it closes in on consecutive victory No. 200, was on hand to document the Red’s efforts against the team from Hartford, Conn.
“It was kind of exciting to have cameras at the courts documenting it all,” said Claghorn. “We knew that we were going to have a tough match. … We were just going out there having fun and playing the best squash we could.”
The men picked up their game on Sunday, and did not concede a single win to Brown in their morning matchup. The Red carried this momentum into the ensuing match against Hobart and picked up yet another shutout.
“We did as expected,” said head coach Mark Devoy. “[The team] all came out and achieved what they were supposed to achieve. Even though we were going to win the two matches, [the goal was] to win them convincingly, and that’s what they actually went out and did.”
At the No. 7 position, sophomore Amar Gupta had a particularly dominant showing against Hobart, securing a 9-0, 9-0, 9-0 victory.
Vernick, junior captain Chris Sachvie and freshman Alex Domenick each surrendered only two points to their opponents through three games.
“They’re all playing well as a team, and that’s what I’m trying to get them all to work at, is to actually all perform as a team,” said Devoy. “They all did what they were supposed to do [by winning convincingly], which was good.”
Claghorn echoed this sentiment, “We all just wanted to focus on winning the match[es] 9-0 … playing the best squash we could, so it was a pretty successful weekend overall.”
On the women’s side, the Red enjoyed a weekend sweep of Mt. Holyoke College, Brown and William Smith, winning by a combined score of 26-1. Against Mt. Holyoke, the Red secured wins at the Nos. 2 through 9 positions, with all eight wins coming by 3-0 marks. Junior Annie Ritter, playing at the No. 6 position, shut out her opponent 9-0 in the first two games and only surrendered two points in the final game. At position No. 7, freshman Clare Berner allowed her opponent only two points in the first game before closing out the match, 9-0, 9-0. Senior Alix Watson triumphed over her opponent, 9-0, 9-1, 9-1.
The team duplicated its success against Brown and William Smith, and in doing so ensured that the Red closed out the regular season with two Ivy wins for the first time since 2001. Ritter came back from two games down to preserve the shutout vs. Brown, and senior captain Alex Cornett, freshman Lauren Sachvie and sophomore Izzy Spyrou all posted 9-0, 9-0, 9-0 victories against William Smith.
“[The women] actually did what they wanted to do as well,” said Devoy, in reference to the Red’s dominating performance.
The team finished the regular season with a 9-4 overall record, and is ranked sixth in the Ivy League at 2-4.