Saumya Karki is one of three freshmen in the top nine for Harvard (Gil Talbot).
The No. 2 Harvard women's squash team concludes its regular season with matches at Brown Thursday at 5 p.m. and at home Sunday against archrival Yale at 2 p.m.
Last Time Out
Harvard played its final non-conference match of the season Wednesday night, defeating Trinity, 7-2, by dominating the top half of the ladder. The Crimson won positions one through five and eight and nine to knock off the Bantams for the seventh consecutive time. No. 1 Amanda Sobhy dropped the opening game but rallied to win the final three to knock off freshman Kanzy El Defraway, 6-11, 11-2, 11-6, 11-3. No. 2 Laura Gemmell outlasted Catalina Pelaez, 12-10, 10-12, 11-8, 11-7, while younger sister Michelle picked up her second win at No. 4 with a convincing 11-8, 13-11, 11-6 victory over Ashley Tidman.
Related Article: Top of Ladder Leads No. 2 Harvard Women's Squash to 7-2 Win Over Trinity
About No. 2 Harvard
After Wednesday night's victory over Trinity, the Crimson sits at 10-1 overall and 4 -1 in the Ivy League. Four players are tied for the team lead with nine wins. Laura Gemmell is the lone undefeated player of the bunch, while Natasha Kingshott is 9-1 and Megan Murray and Isabelle Dowling are both 9-2. No. 1 Amanda Sobhy has an unblemished 5-0 mark, while Natasha Anzik is 7-0. The Crimson is 96-13 individually for an .881 win percentage.
About No. 9 Brown (Team Page)
After falling to Yale Wednesday evening, the Bears are 11-5 overall and 1-4 in the Ancient Eight. Three of Brown's five losses are to teams currently ranked in the top five, as the Bears fell to No. 1 Princeton and No. 5 Yale, 9-0, and No. 3 Penn, 8-1. The Bears returned seven of the nine players who were on the squad last year that lost to Harvard, 9-0.
Series History Against The Bears
The Crimson is undefeated against Brown, winning all 48 pairings between the two schools. Harvard has swept the last four meetings and 13 of the last 14.
About No. 5 Yale (Team Page)
The Bulldogs conclude the regular season with three Ivy League contests in five days. Yale knocked off Brown Wednesday night, 9-0, and has Dartmouth on the slate Friday night before traveling to Cambridge, Mass., Sunday afternoon. On the year, Yale is 10-3 overall and 3-2 in Ivy League play, dropping matches to Princeton, 5-4, and Penn, 7-2. Junior Millie Tomlinson leads the Bulldogs, having won the CSA Individual Championship as a freshman in 2010-11 before falling to Amanda Sobhy in last year's final.
Series History Against Yale
Harvard holds a 34-15 advantage since the first meeting between the two schools in 1974. The Crimson has won the last two meetings between the Ancient Eight rivals, including last year's CSA Team Final, 8-1, at the Murr Center Squash Courts.
Gunning For That No. 1 Spot
Since the start of the 2009-10 season, Harvard has not been beaten at the No. 1 position in team play. The Crimson is 53-0 at the position in the last four years. Senior Laura Gemmell leads the way with 31 of those wins, while sophomore Amanda Sobhy is second with 15. Nirasha Guruge (five wins), Haley Mendez (one win) and Saumya Karki (one win) have also recorded wins in the position during the span.
Harvard has shutout Boston College, Dartmouth, Williams, Bates, Amherst, Hamilton, Columbia and Cornell in 2012-13. Harvard started the year by blanking its first four opponents for the fourth time in school history to fall just shy of the program record for consecutive shutouts to start a season of six, accomplished by the 2010-11 squad. The program record for shutouts in a season is 10, set by last year's team, which leaves the Crimson within striking distance, needing two to tie the mark.
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
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. In just over two years in Cambridge, his women's teams have gone a combined 38-3 (.927), including last year's 17-0 mark. Assistants Reg Schonborn and Luke Hammond return for the 2012-13 season.
Harvard heads to New Haven, Conn., for the College Squash Association Team Championships Feb. 15-17.