loki/tinymce : /sports/wsquash/2011-12/releases/20120119e40n9h : 20120119e40n9h : 49m3tipdytjgva8v



No. 1 Women’s Squash Departs for No. 5 Trinity Saturday

Senior co-captain Nirasha Guruge is 6-1 overall this season (photo courtesy Gil Talbot).

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – After winning two Ivy League contests last weekend, the top-ranked Harvard women's squash team will step out of conference play to travel to No. 5 Trinity Jan. 21.

No. 1 Harvard
The Crimson is 9-0 overall and 3-0 in the Ivy League and has held the top spot in the Collegiate Squash Association (CSA) poll in each of the first five installments of the rankings this season. Harvard is led by a mix of veterans and newcomers, as freshman Amanda Sobhy (2-0), junior Laura Gemmell (5-0), senior Nirasha Guruge (6-1) and freshman Haley Mendez (8-1) have dominated the No. 1-4 positions this season.

Last Time Out
Harvard remained undefeated last weekend with wins over a pair of Ivy League foes, No. 3 Penn and No. 4 Princeton. The Crimson nearly dropped its first match of the season before Haley Mendez broke a 4-4 tie to propel the Crimson past Princeton Jan. 15. Mendez, who was playing in the No. 4 spot, was down 2-0 in the match before storming back for a dramatic 3-2 victory. The freshman won the final three games 14-12, 11-3 and 11-2.

Amanda Sobhy won her first collegiate match, topping Penn's No. 1 Nabilla Ariffin, 3-0, as the squad rolled to a 7-2 win against Penn Jan. 14. Including Sobhy in the No. 1 postion, Harvard's top three set the pace for the rest of the Crimson with victories, as Laura Gemmell topped Rachael Goh, 3-1, at No. 2 and No. 3 Nirasha Guruge overcame a 2-1 deficit to top Yarden Odinak, 3-2.

No. 5 Trinity
The Bantams are coming off its first loss of the year, a 7-2 defeat at No. 2 Yale Jan. 18. Robyn Hodgson gave Trinity life with a win in the No. 8 position after the Bantams started in a 4-0 hole, but the comeback attempt did not last long as the Bulldogs cruised to victory. Trinity has one of the nation's top players in All-American Catalina Pelaez. As a freshman, Pelaez had a 16-4 record and reached the quarterfinals of the CSA Individual Championships.

Series History
Harvard leads the all-time series with Trinity, 29-11, including wins in the last four meetings dating back to 2008.

Next Up
Following two weeks off, the Crimson will travel to No. 16 Columbia Friday, Feb. 3 and No. 7 Cornell Saturday, Feb. 5.