Midweek Showdown for No. 2 Women's Squash Against No. 4 Trinity Wednesday Night

Midweek Showdown for No. 2 Women's Squash Against No. 4 Trinity Wednesday Night

Haley Mendez is 7-1 on the season (Gil Talbot). 

Scene Setter
The No. 2 Harvard women's squash team plays its final non-conference match of the regular season when No. 4 Trinity visits the Murr Center Wednesday night.  

Last Time Out
The Crimson swept away a pair of Ivy League rivals, knocking off Columbia Saturday and Cornell Sunday by identical 9-0 scores. In Saturday's match against the Lions, the Crimson won all three matches by 3-0 scores and did not allow a Columbia player to score more than eight points in any one game.  Senior Laura Gemmell led the way, surrendering just four points in three games in her match at No. 1. Harvard faced a tougher test from the Big Red Sunday, but the women were up to the challenge with seven sweeps to improve to 9-1 on the year. Amanda Sobhy made her fourth appearance of the year and held off Danielle Letourneau, 12-10, 11-9, 12-10, to remain perfect in her collegiate career.

Related Article: Women's Squash Posts Eighth Shutout, Beats Cornell, 9-0
Related Article: No. 2 Women's Squash Sweeps Away Columbia, 9-0

About No. 2 Harvard

With just three regular season contests remaining, the Crimson sits at 9-1 overall and 4-1 in the Ivy League. Senior co-captain Natasha Kingshott leads the team with an unblemished 9-0 mark this season, while fellow class of 2013 member Laura Gemmell is right behind her at 8-0. Natasha Anzik (7-0) and Amanda Sobhy (4-0) are both undefeated, as well, and the Crimson is 88-11 overall in individual matches. Harvard has shutout its opponent in eight of its 10 contests this year, including its last four matches, and is undefeated at positions one, two and six on the ladder.

About No. 4 Trinity (Team Page)
The Bantams are 11-1 and have already clinched the NESCAC title for the seventh consecutive season.  Trinity is led by freshman Kanzy El-Defraway, who is 12-0 this season, including an impressive 3-2 win over Yale No. 1 Millie Tomlinson to propel the Bantams to a 5-4 win over the Bulldogs. Natalie Babjukova is also 12-0 on the season, while Wee Nee Low is 10-1. Trinity's lone loss came at Pennsylvania, 6-3, on Jan. 19.

Series History Against The Bantams
The Crimson holds a 31-11 advantage in the all-time series between the schools. The Crimson extended its current run to six straight wins with a pair of victories last season. Harvard knocked off Trinity, 8-1, Jan. 21 before blanking the Bantams, 9-0, in the CSA Team Championship semifinals. The last time the Bantams defeated the Crimson was Feb. 2, 2008.

Gunning For That No. 1 Spot
Since the start of the 2009-10 season, Harvard has not been beaten at the No. 1 position in team play. The Crimson is 52-0 at the position in the last four years. Senior Laura Gemmell leads the way with 31 of those wins, while sophomore Amanda Sobhy is second with 14. Nirasha Guruge (five wins), Haley Mendez (one win) and Saumya Karki (one win) have also recorded wins in the position during the span.

Zero Success
Harvard has shutout Boston College, Dartmouth, Williams, Bates, Amherst, Hamilton, Columbia and Cornell in 2012-13. Harvard started the year by blanking its first four opponents for the fourth time in school history to fall just shy of the program record for consecutive shutouts to start a season of six, accomplished by the 2010-11 squad. The program record for shutouts in a season is 10, set by last year's team, which leaves the Crimson within striking distance, needing two to tie the mark.

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 

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. In just over two years in Cambridge, his women's teams have gone a combined 37-3 (.925), including last year's 17-0 mark. Assistants Reg Schonborn and Luke Hammond return for the 2012-13 season.

Up Next
Harvard travels to Brown Friday night at 7 p.m. before hosting Yale Sunday at noon.