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No. 1 Women's Squash Welcomes St. Lawrence For Nonconference Match Up

Dowling is tied for the team lead with six wins (photo courtsey: Gil Talbot). 

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The top ranked Harvard women's squash team returns to action this weekend with a nonconference match.  The Crimson will host No. 4 St. Lawrence on Saturday, Jan. 25 at 5 p.m., inside the Murr Center.

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Last Time Out
The Crimson went 2-0 in Ivy League play Jan. 11-12 to improve to 3-0 overall in the conference. Harvard began the weekend with a win over No. 4 Princeton, 6-3. Amanda Sobhy defeated Samuel King, 11-9, 11-8, 11-4 to remain undefeated in the top spot while Haley Mendez was tested in the No. 2 position; however, she outlasted Nicole Bunyan, 11-8, 11-6, 7-11, 11-8. The next day against Penn was no different as the Crimson topped the Quakers, 6-3. Eight Crimson student-athletes defeated their opponents by a 3-0 margin. Amanda Sobhy knocked off Anaka Alankamony, 11-6, 11-3, 11-5, in the No. 1 position to clinch her fourth win of the season.  Saumya Karki and Michelle Gemmell earned wins in the fourth and fifth position respectively, while Dileas MacGowan and Isabelle Dowling clinched wins in the seventh and eighth spot.

Related Link: Top-Ranked Women's Squash Posts 6-3 Win over No. 4 Princeton
Related Link: No. 1 Women's Squash Downs No. 3 Penn, 6-3

About No. 2 Harvard
The Crimson is currently, 6-0 and has swept four of its opponents as the squad is a combined 52-6. The Crimson also has won all 27 games in three matches, winning each match 3-0 against Drexel, Boston College and Williams. Isabelle Dowling and Dileas MacGowan are tied for the team lead with six wins apiece, while Caroline Monrad and Haley Mendez have each notched five wins apiece.

Unbeaten Beginnings
Crimson is 6-0 for the fourth time in program history. Harvard went 6-0 in the 1979-80, 2006-07 and 2007-08 season. Harvard has completed 12 undefeated seasons and the most wins in a single season record is 17 set by the 2011-12 squad. The Crimson has started out 6-0 or better in 23 of its 39 seasons. Harvard also come out on the winning side in its season opener in all 39 years of its existence after blanking Dartmouth, 9-0, in this year's lid lifter. The team has also started 3-0 in 37 consecutive years after dropping its second match of the 1973-74 season to Wellsley, 4-3.

Sweep It Up
Harvard swept its first four opponents for the fourth time in program history before finally losing a match to No. 4 Princeton. The program record for consecutive shutouts to start a season is six, accomplished by the 2010-11 squad. The year's team is also within striking distance of the program record for consecutive shutouts in a season (seven in 1992-93) and single season shutouts (10 in 2011-12).

Tournament of Champions
Sobhy competed in the 17th edition of the J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions in New York City Jan. 18-24. In the first round of qualifying, Sobhy, ranked 18th in the world, faced former Harvard teammate CeCe Cortes '13. Sobhy topped Cortes 11-3, 11-4, 11-4 to advance to the next round. The Sea Cliff, N.Y., native faced No. 16 Nour El Sherbini from Egypt. After taking a 2-0 lead, El Sherbini opened the third set with a 5-0 run before Sobhy began to turn the match around and went on to win the last three sets, 11-8, 11-6, 11-5. In the main draw in the glass court in the Grand Central Terminal, the Crimson student athlete, was edged by fourth-seed Alison Waters of England, 11-3, 11-9, 11-6.

Related Link: Farag, Sobhy Compete at the Tournament of Champions
Related Link: Farag, Sobhy Excel at the Tournament of Champions

Coach's View
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


About No. 4 St. Lawrence
St. Lawrence enters the weekend with 2-4 mark and look to snap a two-game losing streak. The Saints most recently fell to Cornell, 9-0 on Jan. 18. St. Lawrence is led by Jill Baker, who boasts a 5-1 record in the No. 1 position and Emily Terry, who owns a 3-2 record in the No. 2 spot.

All-Times Against St. Lawrence
St. Lawrence and Harvard will meet for the first time in program history.

Up Next
The Crimson will step back into Ivy League play as the squad travels to New York to take on the Big Red of Cornell and the Lions of Columbia on Jan. 25-26.