Bates Visits No. 3 Men's Squash Wednesday Night
Tyler Olsen is 2-1 for the Crimson in 2012 (Gil Talbot).
The No. 3 Harvard men's squash team kicks off 2013 by hosting No. 15 Bates at the Murr Center at 6 p.m. Wednesday night.
Last Time Out
Harvard remained undefeated and recorded its fifth shutout in six contests by defeating No. 12 Williams, 9-0, Dec. 5 at the Murr Center. Brandon McLaughlin made his season debut at the No. 1 position and swept Nick Marks, 11-6, 11-7, 11-2, as the Crimson won four of the nine matches by a 3-0 margin. Freshman Sam Goldberg also made his debut in the top nine and picked up his first win, 9-11, 11-9, 11-9, 11-9, over Andrew Maruca at the No. 9 position.
Related Article: No. 3 Men's Squash Posts Fifth Shutout, Blanks No. 12 Williams, 9-0
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 five of its six opponents with No. 6 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 http://harvardsquash.blogspot.com/
Harvard's six freshmen have all made impressive debuts in their first season of intercollegiate squash. The group has combined to post a 15-0 mark through the first six matches of their careers. Sam Goldberg, Jake Matthews and Matt Roberts are all 3-0, while Walker Evans, Peter Janulis and James Watkins are each 2-0.
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 and is off to a 2-0 start this year after picking up wins against Dartmouth and Rochester.
About No. 15 Bates
Bates enters the contest with a 6-1 mark on the season and is on a five-game winning streak after blanking MIT, Boston University and Bryant Dec. 1. The Bobcats lone loss in 2012-13 came at the hands of No. 13 Penn, 5-4, Nov. 17.
Harvard and Bates have only met one time previously with the Crimson winning the meeting, 9-0, Dec. 4, 1999.
Harvard returns to action Jan. 12 at Penn before traveling to Princeton Jan. 13.
Harvard is 56-1 in its last 57 opening matches dating back to 1956. After the win against Williams, Harvard is 6-0 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