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No. 8 Dartmouth Heads to Cambridge for No. 3 Men's Squash Home, Ivy Opener Wednesday

Gary Power went 11-6 last year for the Crimson (Photo courtesy: Gil Talbot). 

Scene Setter
The No. 3 Harvard men's squash team will look to build on its season-opening play with its home and Ivy League opener against Dartmouth at 5 p.m. Wednesday night.

Last Time Out
Harvard started its season with a shutout victory over Boston College, 9-0, Nov. 16 at the MIT Round Robin. Sachin Patel earned the win at the number one position, defeating Milo Watanbe, 11-9, 11-9, 11-8. Three freshmen, James Watkins, Peter Janulis and Jake Matthews, all made their college debuts and picked up wins for the Crimson.

Related Article: Harvard Blanks Boston College in Men's Squash Season Opener

Successful Starts
Harvard is 56-1 in its last 57 opening matches dating back to 1956. The Crimson has won 35 consecutive lid lifters, including 27 by shutout after this year's 9-0 win against Boston College, since falling to Western Ontario, 5-4, to kickoff the 1977-78 season. Harvard has also started the last 34 seasons 2-0 after dropping that match to Western Ontario.

Meet the Captains
Jason Michas and Zeke Scherl were voted co-captains for the 2012-13 season. Michas, who also served as a captain last year, went 11-2 last season playing in a variety of spots for the Crimson, while Scherl was 12-6 overall after playing in five different spots.

Welcome Back
Harvard returns nearly everybody from last year's squad with Will Ahmed '12 serving as the lone exception. Defending national champion Ali Farag returns for his junior season after posting an 11-0 mark at the No. 1 position and 16-0 record overall in his inaugural campaign in Cambridge. He's joined by fellow All-American Brandon McLaughlin, who finished 10-8. Overall, Harvard returns 97.6 percent (160/164) of its matches won in 2011-12.

Third is the Word
In the CSA preseason rankings, Harvard was ranked as the third best team in college squash. The Crimson sits behind No. 1 Princeton and No. 2 Trinity, who finished in those positions to conclude last season, as well.

Related Article: Men's Squash Ranked No. 3 in CSA Preseason Rankings

New Faces
Six freshmen have joined the squad for the 2012-13 season. They are 
Walker Evans, Sam Goldberg, Peter Janulis, Jake Matthews, Matt Roberts and James Watkins. The sextet hails from four states (Connecticut, New Jersey, New York and Connecticut) and three countries (the United States, South Africa and the United Kingdom). 

Last Season
Harvard outlasted Cornell, 5-4, in the third-place match of the CSA Team Championships in Princeton, N.J. 
Ali Farag breezed to an easy victory at No. 1, while then-junior captain No. 8 Jason Michas and then-sophomore No. 2 Brandon McLaughlin both rallied from 2-0 deficits to lift Harvard past the Big Red.

Leading the Way
Mike Way, The Gregory Lee '87 and Russell Ball '88 Endowed Coach for Squash at Harvard University, returns for his third season at the helm of the Crimson. In two seasons, his teams have posted a combined 25-10 mark, including a 16-4 record last year. Both of his assistants, Reg Schonborn and Luke Hammond, are back for 2012-13, as well.

Related Video: Men's Squash Looks to Build on Success in 2012-13

About Dartmouth
The Big Green enters 2012-13 at No. 8 in the preseason poll, one spot behind its final 2011-12 ranking. Dartmouth returns six players from last year's top nine, including No. 1 and first team All-American Chris Hanson. The Big Green has yet to play in 2012; however, the team went 1-2 at the Ivy League scrimmages, falling to Princeton, 9-0, and Cornell, 8-1, and beating Brown, 9-0. The Crimson is 70-0 all time against Dartmouth, winning both matches last year 8-1.

Up Next
Harvard will jump right back into action as the team splits up over the weekend. Some of the squad will stay in Beantown for the Boston Round Robin, while the rest will head to New York to face Rochester Saturday.