Harvard hosts No. 12 Williams Wednesday in No. 3 Men's Squash 2012 Finale

Harvard hosts No. 12 Williams Wednesday in No. 3 Men's Squash 2012 Finale

Jason Michas is 2-0 at the No. 8 position on the ladder for Harvard (Gil Talbot). 

Scene Setter
The No. 3 Harvard men's squash team entertains No. 12 Williams Wednesday at 6 p.m. at the Murr Center in its final match of 2012.

Last Time Out
Harvard split up Saturday and picked up three victories to improve to 5-0 on the year. Harvard traveled to Rochester and bested the Yellow Jackets, 5-4. After jumping out to a commanding 4-1 lead earlier, Rochester won the next two matches before No. 1 Ali Farag won in three games to seal up Harvard's fourth victory of 2012. The rest of the squad stayed at home for the Boston Round Robin and earned a pair of 9-0 victories over No. 29 Tufts and No. 40 Cal.  

Related Article: No. 3 Men's Squash Picks Up Three Wins Including 5-4 Win Over No. 6 Rochester

Successful Starts
Harvard is 56-1 in its last 57 opening matches dating back to 1956. Following its first win on Saturday, the Crimson has started 3-0 in 35 straight seasons following a 5-4 loss to Western Ontario to start the 1977-78 season. Harvard is 5-0 for the second straight year after starting 2011-12 10-0.

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. Thus far, Harvard has swept four of its five opponents with No. 6 Rochester winning the only four matches thus far against the Crimson.

Undefeated Ali
Following his win on Saturday afternoon at the No. 1 position, junior Ali Farag is a perfect 18-0 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.

About No. 12 Williams
Williams enters Wednesday's contest with a 3-4 overall record after dropping its last two matches 9-0 to CSA No. 1 Princeton and No. 2 Trinity over the weekend. The Ephs have scored wins over No. 21 Hamilton (8-1), No. 14 Penn (5-4) and No. 24 Drexel (8-1), while also losing to No. 4 Cornell (8-1) and No. 11 Western Ontario (7-2).

Series History
Harvard leads the all-time series 65-1, winning the last 60 meetings between the two programs, including last year's 9-0 win over the Ephs. Williams only win came in 1949, knocking off the Crimson, 6-3, at home.

Up Next
Harvard takes a month off before hosting Bates Jan. 9 at 6 p.m.

Meet the Captains
Jason Michas and Zeke Scherl were voted co-captains for the 2012-13 season. Michas, who also served as a captain last year, went 11-2 last season playing in a variety of spots for the Crimson, while Scherl was 12-6 overall after playing in five different spots.

Welcome Back
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

New Faces
Six freshmen have joined the squad for the 2012-13 season. They are Walker EvansSam GoldbergPeter JanulisJake MatthewsMatt 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).

Last Season
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