Gary Power is 8-2 overall in 2011-12 (photo courtesy Gil Talbot).
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – No. 16 Brown and No. 1 Yale provide the final two tests for the No. 4 Harvard men's squash team, as the Crimson is currently in second place in the Ivy League. Harvard welcomes Brown to the Murr Center Feb. 10 at 6 p.m., before traveling to New Haven, Conn., to face Yale Feb. 12 at 1 p.m.
No. 4 Harvard
The Crimson (13-2, 4-1 Ivy League) is taking a three-match winning streak into the weekend after victories over No. 4 Rochester, No. 15 Columbia and No. 6 Cornell. Harvard, which has matched its highest win total (13) since 2000, is led by five players with double-digit win totals and solid play throughout the year in the No. 1 position. Julian Kirby (12-1) leads the Crimson in wins with 12, while Zeke Scherl (11-2), Tyler Olson (11-1), Nick Hopcroft (10-2) and Thomas Mullaney (10-2) have also reached the double-digit plateau. The Crimson is a perfect 15-0 in matches at the No. 1 spot, as Ali Farag has won six straight in the top spot since the turn of the new year.
Last Time Out
Tyler Olson and Zeke Scherl were the first to register victories for the Crimson at No. 5 and No. 8, respectively, as Harvard narrowly escaped Ithaca, N.Y. with a win over No. 7 Cornell, 5-4. Ali Farag, Gary Power and Julian Kirby also picked up wins for Harvard. Farag moved to 6-0 on the season at No. 1, while Power took down William Hartigan at No. 4 (3-1) and Kirby beat Ryan Todd at No. 7 (3-1). Farag played three challenging games against Nicholas Sachvie and snuck by Cornell's top player 11-9, 11-8, 11-8.
Ivy League Race
Then-No. 3 Princeton upset then-No. 1 Yale, 8-1, Feb. 4 in Princeton, N.J. to move into the top spot in the Ivy League standings. The Tigers sit at 5-0 in Ancient Eight play, while Yale and Harvard follow at 4-1 entering the weekend. There is potential for a three-way tie between Harvard, Yale and Princeton in the conference race if Princeton drops one of its matches against No. 6 Cornell (Feb. 10) or No. 15 Columbia (Feb. 12) and Harvard sweeps its two games this weekend. The Ivy League remains the top squash conference in the country, as six of its eight teams are ranked in the top 10 by the College Squash Association (CSA).
No. 16 Brown
Brown (7-6, 0-5 Ivy league), which was 8-10 overall a year ago, has had an improved season, but sits at the bottom of the Ivy League standings. The Bears are 3-2 in its last five outings, with wins over Drexel, Colby and Bowdoin and losses to No. 10 Penn and No. 3 Princeton. Brown is led by senior Brad Thompson, who was ranked No. 68 in the CSA Individual poll last season, and sophomore Blake Reinson, who reached No. 72 in the 2010-11 rankings.
No. 3 Yale
Yale (12-1, 4-1 Ivy League) pulled the biggest victory in recent squash history with a 5-4 win over then-No. 1 Trinity, snapping the Bantams' 252-match win streak that lasted nearly 14 years. The Bulldogs opened the season with 11 consecutive victories and moved into the No. 1 spot in the CSA poll before stumbling for the first time at then-No. 3 Princeton, 8-1, Feb. 4. Yale bounced back with win over No. 10 Penn, 8-1, in its last time out and will take on No. 7 Dartmouth Friday before the contest against Harvard.
After culminating the regular season, Harvard will prepare for the CSA Team Championship Feb. 17-19 in Princeton, N.J.