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No. 5 Men’s Squash to Host Pair of Ivy League Matches this Weekend

Alexander Ma leads the Crimson with a 9-0 record in 2011-12 (photo courtesy Gil Talbot).

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The No. 5 Harvard men's squash team will host a pair of Ivy League contests this weekend at the Murr Center. The Crimson will take on No. 9 Penn Saturday at 1 p.m. and No. 3 Princeton Sunday at 2 p.m. in the team's first contests since Dec. 4.

No. 5 Harvard
The Crimson is off to a 9-0 start overall, 1-0 mark in Ivy action, and has swept eight of its first nine opponents. Twenty Harvard student-athletes have combined to open the year with a 76-1 overall record in individual matches. Alexander Ma leads the Crimson with nine wins, including five in the No. 4 spot, while Brandon McLaughlin leads in the No. 1 position with a 4-0 mark.

Last Time Out
Harvard had a busy weekend Dec. 2-4 before taking over a month off. The Crimson defeated NYU Dec. 2, Amherst, MIT and Boston College Dec. 3, and Northeastern and Boston University Dec. 4. Harvard blanked all six of its opponents during the three-day span and completed the rare feat of winning a home, away and neutral-site match in the same day (Dec. 3). The Crimson started the day with a home win over Amherst before winning at MIT and taking down Boston College on neutral courts at MIT.

Record Run
The Harvard men's squash team has a chance to add to its history this weekend, as the Crimson has won a program record seven consecutive matches by shutout scores. Harvard blanked Northeastern and Boston University by 9-0 tallies Dec. 4 to surpass the previous mark of six set by the 2004-05 Crimson.

Student Rewards Game
The match on Sunday is part of the Harvard Student Rewards program. Harvard students in attendance can swipe in to earn $1 of Crimson Cash and entry into the winter grand prize drawing for an iPad 2.

No. 9 Penn
The Quakers have started the 2011-12 campaign with a 3-1 overall record and 0-1 mark in Ivy League play. Penn's lone blemish came to Ivy rival Princeton, 9-0, Dec. 3. Penn boasts wins over No. 10 Williams, No. 15 Navy and No. 29 Drexel during the young season. The Quakers returned six letterwinners from the 2010-11 squad, which finished 6-9 overall and 1-5 in the Ivy League.

The Crimson leads the all-time series with Penn, 68-2, and has not dropped a match to the Quakers in the last 32 meetings since 1979.

No. 3 Princeton
Princeton, which is led by 2010-11 CSA national individual champion Todd Harrity, is 6-0 overall and 1-0 in the Ivy League. Harrity is 6-0 this season while leading the Tigers in the No. 1 position in each contest, and has won 26 straight matches. Most recently, Princeton downed No. 4 Rochester, 6-3, despite missing 2010-11 All-American Kelly Shannon and four-year starter David Pena from its lineup.   

Harvard leads the all-time series with Princeton, 55-24, but the Tigers have won the last eight meetings between the two teams dating back to 2005.

Next Up
The Crimson steps out of Ivy play to travel to No. 1 Trinity Jan. 21. The Bantam men's squash team has won 250 matches in a row, the longest winning streak in intercollegiate sports history, dating back to the 1998 CSA Finals.