No. 3 Men's Squash Returns to Ivy League Play with Trips to No. 13 Penn and No. 1 Princeton this Weekend
Tommy Mullaney is tied for the team lead with four wins (Gil Talbot).
The No. 3 Harvard men's squash team returns to Ivy League play with weekend showdowns on the road against No. 13 Penn and No. 1 Princeton.
Last Time Out
Harvard continued its early season dominance with its sixth shutout of the season and third consecutive, breezing past No. 15 Bates, 9-0, Wednesday night in the Murr Center. The Crimson swept seven of the nine matches in the second-ever meeting between the two programs. No. 1 Ali Farag was tested by fellow Egyptian Ahmed Abdel Khalek; however, the defending CSA individual national champion prevailed, 11-8, 9-11, 12-10, 11-7, to improve to 3-0 on the year.
Related Article: Third-Ranked Men's Squash Breezes Past No. 15 Bates, 9-0
About No. 3 Harvard
The Crimson are currently 7-0 and have swept six of its seven matches in 2012-13. Freshmen Matt Roberts and Sam Golberg, senior Jason Michas and junior Tommy Mullaney are all 4-0 on the season to lead the team in wins. Ali Farag, Sam Sokolsky-Tifft, Sachin Patel, Seth NeelShaw McKean and Jake Matthews are all undefeated at 3-0.
Harvard swept its first three opponents of the season for the 21st time in program history before finally losing a match to No. 6 Rochester. The three consecutive sweeps to begin a year is the longest streak since Harvard swept the first four matches of 2006-07. Harvard's program record for consecutive shutouts to begin a season is six, which it did it 2004-05, 1991-92 and 1972-73. The program record for shutouts in a season is 12, set by the 1991-92 team and equaled by the 1994-95 squad. Thus far, Harvard has swept six of its seven opponents with No. 5 Rochester winning the only four matches thus far against the Crimson.
Assistant coach Luke Hammond is now blogging to give fans an inside perspective of the Harvard men's and women's squash teams. The blog will be periodically updated throughout the season, recapping the latest results and highlighting other interesting tidbits about the squad.
Related Link: Harvard Squash Blog
Harvard's six freshmen have all made impressive debuts in their first season of intercollegiate squash. The group has combined to post a 17-0 mark through the first seven matches of their careers. Sam Goldberg and Matt Roberts are both 4-0, Jake Matthews is 3-0 and Walker Evans, Peter Janulis and James Watkins are each 2-0.
Junior Ali Farag is a perfect 19-0 in his Harvard squash career. The Egypt native went 16-0 last season, including an 11-0 mark at the No. 1 position, en route to the individual CSA title and is off to a 3-0 start this year after picking up wins against Dartmouth, Rochester and Bates.
About No. 13 Penn (Team Page)
The Quakers are 3-2 in 2012-13 and ranked No. 13 in the CSA polls following their 5-4 win over Navy Dec. 6. Penn is undefeated at home this year, winning its only home match against Drexel, 6-3, Nov. 28. Penn returns seven players from last year's squad that finished ninth in the final rankings and lost to Harvard, 9-0, at the Murr Center Jan. 14.
About No. 1 Princeton (Team Page)
The top-ranked Tigers and reigning CSA team champions are off to a 4-0 start in 2012-13. Princeton swept Franklin & Marshall, Drexel and Williams to begin the year before knocking off No. 5 Rochester, 7-2. First team All-Ivy players Todd Harrity and Tyler Osborne lead the way of the five returning members of last year's top nine. In the only meeting between Harvard and Princeton last year, the Tigers edged the Crimson, 5-4.
Harvard is currently riding a 34-match win streak against Penn, and the Crimson leads the all-time series, 69-2. The Crimson also hold the advantage in the series against Princeton, taking 55 of the 80 matchups.
Harvard travels to Amherst, Mass. to face Western Ontario, Amherst and Wesleyan Jan. 19.
Harvard is 56-1 in its last 57 opening matches dating back to 1956. After the win against Bates, Harvard is 7-0 for the second straight year after starting 2011-12 with a 10-0 mark.
Meet the Captains
Jason Michas and Zeke Scherl were voted co-captains for the 2012-13 season. Michas, who also served as a co-captain last year, went 11-2 last season playing in a variety of positions for the Crimson, while Scherl was 12-6 overall after playing in five different spots.
Harvard returns nearly everybody from last year's squad with Will Ahmed '12 serving as the lone exception. Defending national champion Ali Farag returns for his junior season after posting an 11-0 mark at the No. 1 position and 16-0 record overall in his inaugural campaign in Cambridge. He's joined by fellow All-American Brandon McLaughlin, who finished 10-8. Overall, Harvard returns 97.6 percent (160/164) of its matches won in 2011-12.
Third is the Word
In the CSA preseason rankings, Harvard was ranked as the third best team in college squash. The Crimson sits behind No. 1 Princeton and No. 2 Trinity, who finished in those positions to conclude last season, as well.
Related Article: Men's Squash Ranked No. 3 in CSA Preseason Rankings
Six freshmen have joined the squad for the 2012-13 season. They are Walker Evans, Sam Goldberg, Peter Janulis, Jake Matthews, Matt Roberts and James Watkins. The sextet hails from four states (Connecticut, New Jersey, New York and Connecticut) and three countries (the United States, South Africa and the United Kingdom).
Harvard outlasted Cornell, 5-4, in the third-place match of the CSA Team Championships in Princeton, N.J. Ali Farag breezed to an easy victory at No. 1, while then-junior captain No. 8 Jason Michas and then-sophomore No. 2 Brandon McLaughlin both rallied from 2-0 deficits to lift Harvard past the Big Red.
Leading the Way
Mike Way, The Gregory Lee '87 and Russell Ball '88 Endowed Coach for Squash at Harvard University, returns for his third season at the helm of the Crimson. In just over two seasons, his teams have posted a combined 30-10 mark, including a 16-4 record last year. Both of his assistants, Reg Schonborn and Luke Hammond, are back for 2012-13, as well.
Related Video: Men's Squash Looks to Build on Success in 2012-13