The men’s and women’s squash teams traveled down to New Haven this past weekend to compete in the Yale Round Robin tournament. The No. 12 men’s team finished the weekend 0-2, dropping matches to Drexel and George Washington. The No. 8 women’s squash team finished the weekend 2-1, beating Drexel and George Washington but losing to powerful No. 4 Stanford.
“Overall, the women’s squash team rose to the occasion to play three tough teams over the weekend,” said sophomore Margaux Losty.
The toughest match for the team was against GW, according to Losty. The match took place on Sunday after the team had played two difficult matches on Saturday.
“The hardest match mentally and physically for the team was probably Sunday morning against George Washington because it was our last match of the weekend after playing two very competitive teams the day before,” Losty said. “In order to get a win Sunday morning against GW we went into the match with a strong and positive mindset knowing this was a crucial match that was also a very possible win.”
Losty won all three of her matches over the weekend, she’s now 6-4 on the season.
The men’s team was not as successful but played two very good teams and took away a number of positives from the weekend.
Sophomore Liad Hare’s performance was one of the highlights. Hare, who usually plays at the No. 8 position, finished undefeated.
“Despite the unfortunate results I think the whole team came together [and] had a great atmosphere,” he said. “We were there to fight for every game and every match [and] I think as a team we acted and behaved appropriately.”
Almost all of the team’s individual matches were close, with only three players losing in straight sets over the two matches.
“The whole team was just pushing each other, cheering each other,” Hare said. “We had some really close matches and unfortunately they didn’t go our way,” Hare said.
The two losses dropped the men’s team’s season record to 3-6, decreasing the likelihood of the team ending up in the A Division. Nevertheless, there is still hope for the Red, according to Hare.
“If we do well this weekend, and do well the weekend after when we play Princeton, we could still end up in the A Division, so that’s our main goal,” Hare said. “That being said, even if we don’t make the A Division, we definitely want to fight for a B Division title … so hopefully we’ll make the A and everything is open.”
The team has an important weekend ahead, with Ivy League matches against Harvard and Dartmouth.
“We learn from our mistakes [and] move forward into the future,” Hare said. “If we keep up the good work and come through at the right points and the right times we can come out on top in both matches, especially the Dartmouth match, which is one our biggest rivalries of the year.”
The women’s team has high hopes for the end of the season – remaining in A Division contention – and wants to perform well at nationals.
“One of our goals as we start to approach Nationals is to figure out a way to climb back up to our previous ranking of No. 6 in the first division from No. 8 where we are now,” Losty said. “Another important goal is to be in the best shape possible for nationals so over the next few weeks we should expect to have some extra physically tough practices.”
Nationals are Feb. 26-28, so the Red still has about a month to prepare. Doing well will not be easy given the high quality of the 30-team College Squash Association, but Losty said she and the women’s team are confident they can regain their sixth place ranking and use that momentum to improve over the next month and perform well in the postseason.
The women have three matches this weekend — against Harvard, Dartmouth and William Smith. Harvard is ranked No. 1 in the country and on paper may seem like the Red’s toughest opponent of the weekend, but Losty emphasized that it is really hard to predict how any collegiate squash match will turn out.
“There is no team out there anymore that can be considered an easy win,” Losty said.
Women’s and men’s play begins this weekend at 12 p.m. Saturday against Dartmouth at the Belkin International Squash Courts.