No. 2 Harvard vs. No. 9 Drexel
No. 2 Harvard at No. 3 Trinity
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Two of the nation's powerhouse squash programs are set to play on Monday. First, the No. 2 Harvard women's squash must get past No. 9 Drexel in a contest slated for Sunday, Jan. 28 at noon in the Murr Center. The Crimson then open a stretch of play against four of the top seven teams in the Collegiate Squash Rankings when it travels to compete with No. 3 Trinity on Monday at 4 p.m.
Harvard (6-0) and Trinity (9-1) have met 50 times, with 10 contests occurring during CSA Championship tournaments. Both programs led the nation with four All-America honors last year and returned them this season. The billing for this matchup was No. 1 vs. No. 2 until the latest CSA rankings came out Thursday.
Harvard continues to demonstrate why it is one of the top teams in the nation. The Crimson are a combined 54-1 in nine matches this season. Harvard has produced 50 three-game victories even as players shuffle their order in the ladder. Gina Kennedy was the No. 1 last weekend, followed by Kayley Leonard, Alyssa Mehta, and Amelia Henley in the next three slots. Sue Ann Yong and Eleonore Evans shared spot No. 5, while Sophie Mehta and Hannah Craig split time at No. 7. Annika Engstrom play a match at No. 8 and No. 9. Olivia Chapman was the No. 9 against Tufts. The Crimson will attempt to extend its 44-match win-streak this weekend.
The Dragons (4-6) won their only match this past week. Drexel traveled to No. 13 Virginia and beat the Cavaliers on their home court, 6-3. Anna Hughes, Ryan Morgan, and Hannah Blatt swept their matches at spots one, three, and four, respectively. Fiona Power and Apoorva Addepalli both emerged on the winning side of five-game matches. Hayley Hughes used four games to get the win at No. 2. The Dragons are 0-3 against top-10 competition this season.
The Bantams will end their regular season against the Crimson. Trinity defeated No. 5 Penn, 7-2, last Saturday and then handed No. 6 Yale an 8-1 loss Wednesday night. The Bantams are led by four 2016-17 All-America honorees: Raneem Sharaf, Vanessa Raj, Salma Alam El Din, and Lakeesha Rarere. Sharaf has handled slot one for all but one match this year, going 6-2. Julia LeCog is the likely No. 2 at 7-0. Alam El Din has a 4-0 record at slot three. The Bantams' No. 4 has been shared by Rarere, El Din and Min Jie Teh. However, Teh is the likely No. 5 at 7-0. Jennifer Haley looks to be the No. 6, whereas Akanksha Salunkhe is the probable No. 7. Karolina Holinkova is the most likely player at No. 8. Slot nine could go to a host of athletes.
About Last Time
Harvard defeated No. 19 Tufts and No. 4 Stanford. The Crimson swept 17-of-18 matches last weekend.
The Crimson is ranked No. 2 overall in the Dunlop Women's College Association Team Rankings for the first week this season. Harvard entered the year as the No. 1 team in the nation for the eighth consecutive year and held that ranking for 10 consecutive weeks. The poll released on Thursday, Jan. 25, saw the Crimson overtaken by Princeton (9-0) due to strength of schedule.
Harvard Hosts the Howe Cup
The 2018 College Women's National Team Championship will take place on Harvard's home courts. The Murr Center will host the tournament from Friday, Feb. 16 through Sunday, Feb. 18. Harvard is the three-time defending champion of the Howe Cup. The Crimson captured its third title with defeats of Columbia, 9-0, Princeton, 8-1, and Penn, 7-2.
Practice Makes Perfect
The Crimson went 13-0 in 2015-16, with eight shut-out wins. Harvard went undefeated again in the 2016-17 season, earning 15 wins. Ten of the team's victories were 9-0 victories. Harvard's last loss was a 5-4 decision at Penn on Jan. 11, 2015. At 6-0 in 2017-18, the Crimson carry a 44-match win into this weekend's competition.
Harvard returned 10 players from the 2016-17 squad, including Ramsay Cup Winner and Ivy League Rookie of the Year Gina Kennedy. Included in that total are four CSA All-America first and second team selections: Kennedy, Kayley Leonard, Alyssa Mehta, and Amelia Henley. Henley, Kennedy, Leonard, and Sabrina Sobhy were First-Team All-Ivy selections a year ago.
Ivy League Network
The Ivy League Network returns for a fifth season as the home for all live streaming and on-demand video content for each of the conference's eight institutions. Broadcast in full HD and featuring a live score bug and play-by-play and color commentary, the Ivy League Network provides fans with unprecedented access to the Ancient Eight.
Multiple subscription options are available to fans, including school-specific and league-wide passes. To learn more about the Ivy League Network or to sign-up today, click here, or download the Ivy League Network app!
The Crimson begin a four-match stretch of Ivy League opponents with Princeton on Saturday, Feb. 3.