Ali Farag won the first two matches of his collegiate career last weekend in the No. 1 position (photo courtesy Gil Talbot).
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The No. 5 Harvard men's squash team attempts to run No. 1 Trinity's losing streak to two Saturday in Hartford, Conn. after the Bantams had won its previous 252 matches dating back to 1998. Harvard, which had been the last team to beat Trinity (Feb. 22, 1998), has opened the year with a 10-1 overall record and 2-1 mark in the Ivy League, while Trinity is 8-1 after falling to Yale, 5-4, Jan. 18.
No. 5 Harvard
After winning its first 10 matches of the season, including a school record eight consecutive shutouts, the Crimson nearly pulled off an upset over No. 3 Princeton but fell, 5-4, at the Murr Center Jan. 15. Ali Farag provided a lift for Harvard, as the freshman downed Princeton's Todd Harrity, 3-2, in the No. 1 position. Harrity won the College Squash Association Individual Championship last season.
The squad has combined to win 94-of-100 individual matches this season and is led by Alexander Ma with 10 wins against one loss. Thomas Mullaney (9-0), Julian Kirby (8-0) and Nick Hopcroft (8-0) also have impressive marks for the Crimson.
No. 1 Trinity
The Bantams were 8-0 overall, including six shutout victories, before falling at No. 2 Yale, 5-4, Jan. 18. Trinity held a 4-3 lead over the Bulldogs with the No. 4 and No. 7 positions to play, but the Bantams could not secure a victory in the final two individual matches. The loss snapped Trinity's 252-match win streak, the longest winning streak in the history of varsity intercollegiate sports. Prior to Jan. 18, Trinity's last loss came nearly 14 years ago at the hands of Harvard, 5-4, Feb. 22, 1998.
Trinity, which lost seven of its top 11 players from a year ago, is led by three-time All-American and co-captain Vikram Malhotra. Malhotra is 7-0 in 2011-12 and 52-7 overall in his career.
Harvard leads the all-time series against Trinity, 33-19. The Crimson won the first 33-of-34 matches against the Bantams, before Trinity started its record run, which included 18 wins over Harvard. Since 1998, Trinity has slipped past the Crimson, 5-4, on three occasions.
Harvard will have one more nonconference tune up Saturday, Jan. 28 against No. 4 Rochester, before rounding out Ivy League play with four conference matches in February. The matchup with Rochester is slated to begin at 3 p.m. at the Murr Center.