Women’s Squash Eyeing No. 1 Princeton, CSA Championship Rematch vs. Penn


  No. 2 Harvard vs. No. 1 Princeton
Saturday, Feb. 3, 2018
 12 p.m.
Murr Center
Harvard leads, 2-0
W, 8-1 (Feb. 25, 2017^)


   No. 2 Harvard at No. 7 Penn
Sunday, Feb. 4, 2018
 12 p.m.
Murr Center
Harvard leads, 45-7
W, 7-2 (Feb. 26, 2017*)
^CSA National Semifinal
*CSA National Championship

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Rematches of the 2017 Collegiate Squash Association team championship and a national semifinal will take place in the Murr Center this weekend. At stake is a direct path to an Ivy League title. The undefeated No. 2 Harvard women's squash teams meets unbeaten No. 1 Princeton this Saturday and No. 7 Penn on Sunday. Both matches are slated for noon.

The weekend is full of potential for high-stakes rematches. Many Crimson, Tiger, and Quaker individuals competed against one another at the team and individual national tournaments a year ago. Notably, round two of the 2017 Ramsay Cup between Harvard sophomore Gina Kennedy and Penn's Reeham Sedky is possible. However, Sedky is competing at No. 1 and Kennedy playing at No. 1 and No. 2.

The Crimson (8-0, 3-0 Ivy League) sit atop the Ancient Eight with the Tigers (10-0, 3-0 Ivy League). The three-time defending champion Harvard Crimson was ranked No. 1 for 10 consecutive weeks this season prior to Princeton moving to the top of the rankings on Jan. 25.

The Quakers are (5-4, 1-2 Ivy League), having lost to Princeton, 6-3 Wednesday night. The Crimson enter the weekend on a 46-match winning streak. Harvard's last defeat was at Penn, 4-5, on Jan. 11, 2015.

The Crimson
In both matches last week, Sabrina Sobhy played at No. 1. Gina Kennedy was the No. 2 , followed by Kayley LeonardAlyssa MehtaAmelia Henley, Sue Ann YongEleonore Evans, Sophie Mehta, and Hannah Craig. The Crimson are a combined 70-2 in eight matches this season. Harvard has produced 64 three-game victories during the 2018 campaign.

Scouting Princeton
The Tigers have won all 10 matches this season. Princeton's biggest challenges came from Stanford, 6-3, and Trinity, 5-4, but it has otherwise recorded resounding victories. All-America and All-Ivy Oliva Fletcher leads Princeton at No. 1. Raneem El Torky has been the No. 2 with Grace Doyle, Samantha Chai, Morgan Steelman, Emme Leonard, Kira Keating, Isabel Hirshberg, and Madison Soukup filling in the ladder.

Scouting Penn
The Quakers are led by 2017 Ivy League Player of the Year and national runner-up Reeham Sedky Salah, All-America Marie Stephan, and junior Melissa Alves Alves went 13-0 at No. 2 during the regular season last year. Lindsay Stanley also returns from the 2017 Howe Cup finals lineup, moving up to No. 5. Haley Scott has been playing in slot four, while Julia Bucholz took over at No. 6. Cameron Munn, Clare Kearns, Nicole Windreich and Lauren Wolf complete the lineup. Sedky and Alves defeated Sobhy and Kennedy in the CSA championship bout last year.

Familiar Faces
Junior Kayley Leonard's younger sister, Emme, competes for Princeton, as does freshman Maddie Chai's older sister, Samantha.

About Last Time
The No. 2 Harvard women's squash team withstood its toughest test of the season to-date, defeating No. 3 Trinity, 8-1, on Monday night at the Kellner Squash Center. The Crimson swept matches at No. 1, No. 2, No. 3, No. 8, and No. 9. Harvard weathered Trinity's best shot, emerging on the winning side in 8-of-11 games decided by two points or less.

National Rankings
The Crimson is ranked No. 2 overall in the Dunlop Women's College Association Team Rankings for the second 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 due to strength of schedule. The schools' rankings remained unchanged prior to this weekend's competition.

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 8-0 in 2017-18, the Crimson carry a 46-match win into this weekend's competition.

Returning Swagger                                               
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 LeonardAlyssa 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!

What's Next?
The Crimson travel to play Yale on Friday, Feb. 9 at 4 p.m. Harvard closes out the regular season at home against Brown on Sunday, Feb. 11 at noon.