After a year-long hiatus, the Cornell men’s and women’s squash teams began Ivy League play this past Sunday, with both squads facing off against Columbia University.
The ninth-ranked men’s team came out on top, upsetting the No. 6 Lions, 5-4. With this win, the Red (2-1, 1-0 Ivy League) ended a six-match losing streak to the Lions (4-1, 0-1), which dated back to 2015.
The Red started off strong with a quick 3-0 sweep on the opening rotation, with wins by the No. 9 seed freshman Rohan Iyer, No. 3 seed freshman Arnaav Sareen and No. 4 seed senior Charles Culhane. The Lions, however, quickly bounced back by sweeping the second rotation, knotting the score at 3-3.
The No. 7 seed, sophomore Nick Robinson, won the next match to give Cornell the advantage and improve his individual record to 3-0. But the advantage was short-lived as the Lions responded with a win at the No. 5 spot, leaving it up to the No. 1 seed, junior Veer Chotrani, who clinched the victory with a four-game win. The men’s team is now 2-1 on the season and 1-0 in Ivy play.
With the upset against the Lions, the Red could now have a chance to compete at the College Squash Association National Championships in February 2022. After beginning the weekend at the No. 9 spot in the CSA rankings, this win may propel them up into one of top-eight spots, which would secure the team a place at the championships.
The eighth-ranked women’s team did not have as much luck as they fell 5-4 to the Lions in a closely fought match. The Red started off strong in the first rotation, featuring strong performances by the No. 4 seed sophomore Selena Georgieva and No. 9 seed junior Ania LaDow, who both swept their opponents. However, the Lions responded with a sweep in the second rotation, and then secured the victory with a win at the No. 5 spot.
Though the Red had already lost, that did not derail No. 7 seed junior Alexis Shatzman and No. 1 seed senior Sivasangari Subramaniam from losing focus. Both Shatzman and Subramaniam won in tight five-game matches, with Subramaniam improving to 4-0 on the season, individually. The women’s team is now 2-2 on the season and 0-1 in Ivy play.
Both teams will have a six-week break before they restart the season with back-to-back home matches on Jan. 15 and 16 against Yale and Trinity, respectively, at Belkin Squash Courts.