Nick Hopcroft takes his 11-3 overall record to the CSA Potter Cup in hopes of bringing home a national championship for the Crimson (photo courtesy Gil Talbot).
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – With hopes of its 31st national championship, the No. 4 Harvard men's squash team travels to Princeton, N.J. Feb. 17-19 for the 68th annual Potter Cup.
The Crimson, ranked No. 4 in the final regular season College Squash Association (CSA) rankings, squares off against No. 5 Rochester Friday at 3 p.m. in Princeton, N.J. The winner will face either No. 1 Trinity or No. 8 Franklin and Marshall, which meet at 4 p.m., in the semifinal. On the other side of the bracket, No. 3 Yale kicks off the tournament against No. 6 Cornell at noon and No. 2 Princeton faces No. 7 Dartmouth at 1:30 p.m.
Seeding the Entrants
The ninth and final Dunlop College Squash Association Team Rankings, released Feb. 12, determine the seeding of the championship event. The top eight in the rankings qualify for the Potter Cup.
No. 1 Trinity
No. 2 Princeton
No. 3 Yale
No. 4 Harvard
No. 5 Rochester
No. 6 Cornell
No. 7 Dartmouth
No. 8 Franklin and Marshall
Princeton will provide multiple ways for fans to stay updated on the championship action. Live video of the semifinal and final matches will be available here for a $9.95 fee, while results will be posted here.
No. 4 Harvard
The Crimson (14-3, 5-2 Ivy League), which has registered 14 wins for the first time since 2000, are led by strong play in the top four positions, including undefeated 17-0 marks at No. 1 and No. 4. Freshman Ali Farag has been the anchor in the top spot, winning all eight of his matches since joining the lineup after the new year. Nick Hopcroft (11-3) and Gary Power (10-2), who are two of six Crimson players with double-digit wins, have each provided five wins at No. 4 for the Crimson. Julian Kirby (13-2), Thomas Mullaney (12-2), Tyler Olson (10-2) and Zeke Scherl (13-2) also have 10 or more wins for Harvard this season.
No. 5 Rochester
The Yellow Jackets (9-4) are riding a three-match winning streak entering the tournament. Rochester defeated No. 7 Dartmouth, Hobart and No. 8 Franklin and Marshall after dropping consecutive matches to No. 1 Trinity and No. 4 Harvard.
In Harvard's last meeting with Rochester, the Crimson jumped to 2-1 and 4-2 leads before cruising to a 7-2 victory. Nick Hopcroft and Nigel Koh gave Harvard the early momentum and lead with a pair of 3-1 victories in the No. 3 and No. 6 positions, respectively, as the Crimson never trailed during the win. It was the third win for Harvard in five tries during the all-time series with Rochester dating back to 1962.
The Harvard men's squash team has won 30 previous Potter Cup titles, the most of any team, with its last coming in 1998. The Crimson's last championship came at the end of a stretch of eight consecutive titles. For a complete list of Harvard national championships click here.
Previous Squash National Champions
Harvard – 30 (Last: 1998)
Trinity – 13 (2011)
Yale – 12 (1990)
Princeton – 10 (1993)
Navy – 3 (1967)
For the first time in this millennium, the CSA national tournament opens without a clear-cut favorite. Trinity has won the last 13 titles on its way to 252 consecutive wins, the longest streak in intercollegiate sports history. Trinity's run was snapped Jan. 18 with a 5-4 loss to then-No. 2 Yale. The Bulldogs took over the No. 1 spot the next week, but proceeded to drop a match at No. 2 Princeton, 8-1, Feb. 4. Harvard nearly took down both Princeton and Yale this season, losing 5-4 to each Ivy rival, and fell to Trinity, 7-2.