February 11, 2013

SQUASH | Men’s Squash Ends Season with Victories

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After ending its season with a four-match winning streak, the Cornell men’s squash team will be a force to be reckoned with this year at Team Championships.On Friday, the Red hosted Princeton in its last home match of the season. Not only is Princeton ranked No. 1, but the Tigers are also the defending National Champions and Cornell hadn’t beaten them in eight years. In the nail-biting match on Friday, however, the Red successfully eradicated that record and defeated Princeton, 5-4. It was only the second time in Cornell’s 56 years of squash history that the Red defeated the Tigers.“It was incredible,” said senior co-captain, Owen Butler. “The entire team, right from the get-go was fired up and in the end, I think we just wanted it more than they did.”After the first rotation, the Red was off to a good start, with victories from sophomore Ryan Todd and freshmen Abhijit Malik at the No. 6 and No. 9 spots, respectively. Princeton then tied it up, 2-2, but the Red came back with a vengeance. Senior co-captain Owen Butler won a three-game victory at the No. 5 spot and sophomore Aditya Jagtap won in five at the No. 2 spot.The fate of the match rested in Junior Bryan Keating’s hands as he played Princeton’s David Hoffman in the final match of the evening. Keating won the first game and lost the second two, entering the fourth with a 1-2 deficit. He then proceeded to win the next two games 11-5 and 11-9 to give the Red the win.“It was so cool,” Butler said. “The entire team was watching, and when he finally won everyone was yelling and fist-pumping to celebrate.”Cornell continued its winning streak with a 5-4 victory over No. 7 Franklin and Marshall and a 7-2 victory over No. 12 Penn.“Going into the F&M match we were a bit drained after such a big win the night before,” said senior co-captain Nick Sachvie. “Penn was tough, too, after playing two hard matches, but we proved that our team is too strong for theirs and took the match comfortably.”The Red finished the regular season with an impressive 16-3, 5-2 Ivy record — its only losses coming from Yale, Trinity, and Harvard.“This season went better than many expected,” Sachvie said. “We have a very young team and a different lineup from last year but everyone stepped up their game this season and the team is playing really well together. I am glad to finish the season off as strong as we did.”The women’s team also finished up its season on Sunday with a 7-2 loss to No. 3 Penn. The team was defeated 8-1 by No. 1 Princeton on Friday, but came back to beat Franklin and Marshall, 9-0. Overall, the women are 12-5 overall and 3-4 in Ivy League.Both teams will travel to Yale next weekend to play in the CSA National Championships. The women will play in the eight-team Howe Cup, while the men are set to compete in the Potter Cup. Last year, the men’s fourth place finish was the highest in Cornell history. Butler said they are looking for an even better result this year.“Our goal is obviously to win it all,” he said. “After this past weekend, we know that we have a shot at any team we go up against. We will need to focus on one match at a time and get through the quarters first. This team has a lot of heart and in the end I think that will take us far at the team championships.”Prior to the weekend the Red was ranked fifth, but having earned three key victories, it is in position to receive a higher seed in the tournament. Rankings will be released this week and play is scheduled to begin on Friday.

Original Author: Katie Schubauer