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Ivy League Title Share Up for Grabs as No. 3 Men's Squash Hosts No. 2 Yale Monday night

Jason Michas is one of five seniors playing his final home match Monday night (Gil Talbot).

Scene Setter
The No. 3 Harvard men's squash team takes on No. 2 Yale Monday evening with a share of the Ivy League Title up for grabs between the two rivals.

Last Time Out
The Crimson rallied to even the match at four, but Trinity won the final match to hand Harvard a 5-4 setback Tuesday night. The Bantams won the first three matches, but the Crimson responded by taking two in the second flight, as Jason Michas and Brandon McLaughlin both outlasted their opponents at No. 8 and No. 2, respectively. In the final flight, No. 1 Ali Farag won his match in three games, and Gary Power took his at No. 4 in four to even up the score, but Trinity earned a win at No. 7 to earn the hard-fought victory.

Related Article: No. 3 Men's Squash Rallies, Drops 5-4 Decision to No. 2 Trinity

About No. 3 Harvard
The Crimson is 14-2 overall and 5-1 in the Ivy League entering Monday night's contest.  No. 2 Brandon McLaughlin tops the team in wins with an 11-1 mark. He is followed by four players, Ali Farag, Tommy Mullaney, Jason Michas and Sam Goldberg. who all have 10 victories apiece. Harvard has dominated its opposition this season, posting 10 shutouts in 16 contests, and the Crimson's only two losses have come to then-No. 1 Princeton and then-No. 2 Trinity.

The Ivy League Race
After Princeton lost to Cornell, 5-4, it opened the door for either Harvard or Yale to claim a share of the Ivy League title. The Tigers finished Ancient Eight play with a 6-1 record, which guarantees that the winner of the Harvard/Yale match will earn a share of the championship with both teams sitting at 5-1 currently. The loser of the contest will end up in a tie for third place with 5-2 Cornell.

Senior Farewell
Monday night's match will be the final one at the Murr Center for seniors Jason Michas, Zeke Scherl, Charles Cabot, Alexander Ma and Shaw McKean. Over their four years, they have combined to go 46-17, a .730 win percentage.

About No. 2 Yale (Team Page)
The Bulldogs are 11-2 on the year and 5-1 in the Ancient Eight, suffering its two defeats to Trinity, 7-2, and Princeton, 6-3. Seniors dominate the top half of the lineup for the Elis with No. 1 Kennth Chan, No. 2 Hywel Robinson and No. 3 Richard Dodd filling out the top of the ladder. Harvard faced Yale at the Ivy League scrimmages earlier this season, and the Crimson prevailed 5-4.

Series History Against the Bulldogs
Since the teams first met in 1925, Harvard has won 71 of 92 all-time meetings. The Bulldogs edged the Crimson in the last matchup between the programs Feb. 12, 2012, 5-4. The Crimson's last win came Nov. 11, 2011, a 5-4 victory in New Haven, Conn.

Zeroing In
Harvard swept its first three opponents of the season for the 21st time in program history before finally losing a match to No. 6 Rochester. The three consecutive sweeps to begin a year is the longest streak since Harvard swept the first four matches of 2006-07. Harvard's program record for consecutive shutouts to begin a season is six, which it did it 2004-05, 1991-92 and 1972-73. The program record for shutouts in a season is 12, set by the 1991-92 team and equaled by the 1994-95 squad. Thus far, Harvard has swept 10 of its 16 opponents.

Coach's View
Assistant coach Luke Hammond is now blogging to give fans an inside perspective of the Harvard men's and women's squash teams. The blog will be periodically updated throughout the season, recapping the latest results and highlighting other interesting tidbits about the squad.

Related Link: Harvard Squash Blog

Undefeated Ali
Junior Ali Farag is a perfect 26-0 in his Harvard squash career. The Egypt native went 16-0 last season, including an 11-0 mark at the No. 1 position, en route to the individual CSA title and is off to a 10-0 start this year.

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 just over two seasons, his teams have posted a combined 39-12 mark, including a 16-4 record last year. Both of his assistants, Reg Schonborn and Luke Hammond, are back for 2012-13, as well.

Up Next
The Crimson heads to Yale for the College Squash Association Team Championships Feb. 22-24.