No. 1 Harvard vs. No. 5 Yale
No. 1 Harvard at No. 10 Brown
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The No. 1 Harvard women's squash has two chances to clinch at least a share of the Ivy League title this weekend. The first, on Friday, Feb. 9 at No. 5 Yale. The second, at home on Sunday against No. 10 Brown. Harvard travels to Brady Squash Center to take on the Bulldogs (9-3, 4-1 Ivy) at 4 p.m. The Crimson then close out the regular season against the Bears (5-6, 0-5 Ivy) Sunday at noon. Both matches are available to be streamed on the Ivy League Network.
Should the Crimson (10-0, 5-0 Ivy) win both matches, it will claim its third consecutive outright Ancient Eight crown, fourth in five seasons, and 22nd overall. Both Princeton (11-1, 4-1 Ivy) and Yale are one game back of Harvard in league standings and are alive for a share of the crown. The Ivy League women's squash title has never been shared.
Harvard completed its toughest week on the schedule in dominating fashion. The Crimson defeated No. 3 Trinity, No. 1 Princeton, and No. 7 Penn all by scores of 8-1. Harvard's lineup features seven players with record of 9-0 or better: Eleonore Evans (10-0), Amelia Henley (10-0), Gina Kennedy (10-0), Kayley Leonard (10-0), Sophie Mehta (10-0), Hannah Craig (9-0), and captain Alyssa Mehta (9-0). Crimson No. 1 Sabrina Sobhy (5-2) and captain Sue Ann Yong (8-1) suffered their first losses of the season this past week. Yong lost to Trinity All-America Vanessa Raj, 9-11, 9-11, 11-5, 11-5, 11-9, while Sobhy fell in matches to Princeton All-America Olivia Fiechter, 3-2, and Penn's Ramsay Cup runner-up Reeham Sedky, 3-0. The Crimson are a combined 86-4 in 10 matches this season. Harvard has produced 77 three-game victories during the 2018 campaign.
The Bulldogs won both their matches last weekend. Yale beat No. 6 Columbia, 5-4, and Cornell, 9-0. The top of the lineup (Lucy Beecroft, Celine Yeap, and Aishwarya Battacharya) lost to Columbia, as did No. 5 Selena Maity. The other slots rallied to pick up the necessary points. Missing from the ladder was No. 3 Helen Teegan.
The Bears' losses to Cornell, 9-0, and Columbia, 8-1, snapped a five-match winning streak they had to close out the month of January. Katrina Northrop (No. 5) was the only player to pick up a win on the weekend. Brown No. 1 Quincy Beck lost in a pair of four-game matches.
About Last Time
Harvard swept 18 individual matches against No. 3 Trinity, No. 1 Princeton, and No. 7 Penn.
The Crimson returned to its No. 1 national ranking in the Dunlop Women's College Association Team Rankings. 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 for two weeks, before a No. 2 Harvard squad upset No. 1 Princeton, 8-1.
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 48-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 Howe Cup! Get over to the Murr Center and support the Crimson in its quest for a fourth consecutive national championship. Matches will be held Friday, Feb. 16 through Sunday, Feb. 18.