No. 1 Women's Squash Hosts Princeton, Penn This Weekend

No. 1 Women's Squash Hosts Princeton, Penn This Weekend

Chu registered a 3-0 win at Williams to remain undefeated (photo courtsey: Gil Talbot).

Scene Setter
The No. 1 Harvard women's squash team jumps back into Ivy League play with weekend matches against No. 4 Princeton, Jan. 11 at noon and No. 3 Penn, Jan. 12 at noon at the Murr Center.

About Harvard
The Crimson is currently, 4-0 and has swept each of its opponents as the squad is a combined 39-0.  The Crimson also has won all 27 games in three matches, winning each match 3-0 against Drexel, Boston College and Williams. Isabelle Dowling, Dileas MacGowan, Caroline Monrad, and Megan Murray are tied for the team lead with four wins apiece, while Julianne Chu, Saumya Karki, Haley Mendez and Katie Tutrone each have notched three wins apiece.

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Last Time Out
Despite taking a month off between finals and the holidays, the Crimson displayed little signs of rust, cruising to a 9-0 victory over No. 15 Williams. Mendez debuted at the top spot of the ladder knocking off Alyssa Northrop, 11-2, 11-3, 11-6. Karki improved to 3-0 on the season after defeating Nicole Freshbach, 11-6, 11-2, 11-4, to claim her first win in the second position. Rookie Tutrone allowed just five points in an 11-2, 11-2, 11-1 win over Caroline Sawin to remain unbeaten in her collegiate career.

Related Link: Top Ranked Women's Squash Blanks No. 15 Williams, 9-0

Unbeaten Beginnings
The Crimson is 4-0 for the tenth straight season. Harvard has 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.

Break Out The Brooms
Harvard has swept its first four opponents for the fourth time in program history. 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).

Win Streaking
The Crimson has currently won 14 consecutive matches dating back to last season, which is now the fifth-longest streak in program annals. The current run now trails only a 22-match streak (2009-2012), 23-match streak (1983-1986), a 26-match span (1986-89) and a 70-match run (1992-1998).

New Kids on the Block
The class of 2017 has made a significant impact through the first four matches of the season, combining for a 14-0 record. MacGowan and Monrad have each claimed a team high four wins.  Tutrone owns a 3-0 record, while Emily Jones picked up her second win at Williams.  Keegan Mendez was victorious at the No. six spot against Boston College.

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 while highlighting interesting tidbits about the squad.

Related Link: Harvard Squash Blog

About No. 4 Princeton
After a month long hiatus, Princeton, the reigning Ivy League champions, owns a 4-0 overall record, and looks to opens up its Ancient Eight slate strong. The Tigers have swept Franklin & Marshall, Williams, Drexel and George Washington by a 9-0 margin.  Princeton is led by rookie Maria Elena Ubina in the top position, Libby Eyre, Nicole Bunyan and Rachel Leizman.

All-Times Against the Tigers
Harvard holds a narrow, 29-21 advantage over Princeton. The two squads traded victories in the previous two meetings. The Crimson defeated the Tigers, 5-4 in 2012 before falling at Princeton, 5-4 in 2013.

About No. 3 Penn
Like the Crimson, the Quakers have yet to lose a match all season, winning their first three contests against Williams, Stanford and George Washington. Penn is led by sophomore All-American and Ivy League Rookie of the Year Yan Xin Tan in the top position, while College Fehm, Carey Celata, Alisa Agnew and Leslie Gill have also been consistent contributors for the Quakers.

All-Times Against the Quakers
Winners of the last eight meetings in the series, Harvard owns a 38-6 overall record against Penn since the two first played in 1974-75.

Looking Ahead
Harvard returns to action Jan. 25 when the Crimson welcome St. Lawrence to the courts at the Murr Center.