Chu will look to help Harvard claim its 19th Ivy League title this weekend (Photo Courtsey: Zack Williamson).
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The top-ranked women's squash team will step back into Ivy League action Friday, Feb. 7 with a trip to New Haven, Conn., to take on conference rival No. 5 Yale before welcoming No. 10 Brown to the Murr Center on Sunday, Feb. 9.
Last Time Out
With the overall score knotted at four, Amanda Sobhy clinched the deciding match when she downed Kanzy El Defrawy in straight sets to lift the Crimson to a narrow, 5-4, victory over No. 2 Trinity in its final non-conference match of the season Tuesday night. Michelle Gemmell and Julianne Chu registered victories in the fifth and sixth positions respectively, while Dileas MacGowan and Megan Murray also edged their opponents to help secure the win.
Related Link: No. 1 Women's Squash Narrowly Edges No. 2 Trinity College, 5-4
About No. 1 Harvard
After Tuesday's victory over Trinity, the Crimson sits at 10-0 overall and 5-0 in the Ivy League. MacGowan is the team leader with 10 wins as the rookie remains undefeated in her first year in Cambridge. Murray and Isabelle Dowling are both 8-2, while Gemmell is 8-0. No. 1 Sobhy has an unblemished 7-0 mark, while Haley Mendez is 7-2 and Katie Tutrone is 6-2. The Crimson is 86-11 individually for an .886 win percentage.
Harvard has posted 12 undefeated seasons in program history, while rattling off 10 consecutive wins for just the fourth time in program history. Harvard first accomplished the feat during the 1980-81 season when the team won its first 11 matches of the season, which was matched by the 1981-82 team and then by the 1998-99 team.
Ancient Eight Crown
Harvard sits atop of the Ivy League standings with a 5-0 record and the only team left in the conference with an undefeated mark.
The Crimson is currently riding an 18-game win streak dating back to a close, 5-4 defeat at Princeton Jan. 13, 2013. The current win streak sits fifth in program history. Harvard's longest win streak stretched from 1991-98 where the Crimson claimed 70 straight victories.
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
No. 10 Brown
The Bears comes into the match looking for its first win in conference play. Brown carries a 10-5 overall record and a 0-5 mark in the Ivy League. The Bears will look to snap a two-game losing streak after most recently dropping matches to the Penn, 9-0, and Yale, 7-2.
Series History with Brown
The Crimson and Bears will meet for the 45th time in program history with Harvard owning a 44-0 record in the all-time results. The Crimson has swept the Bear in the last five meetings.
Scouting No. 5 Yale
As the fifth ranked team in the country, Yale carries a 14-2 overall record and a 4-1 mark in conference play. The Bulldogs have swept 13 of its 16 opponents. Yale most recently dropped its first conference match to Penn, 5-4, before coming back to topple Princeton, 5-4, and Brown, 7-2.
Series History with Yale
As its second-most frequent opponent, the Crimson has seen plenty of the Bulldogs through the years. The two teams first faced off during the 1974-75 season when Harvard dropped a 7-0 decision. Since then, the Crimson has captured 35 of its 50 meetings to claim a 35-15 edge in the all-time series. Harvard has taken the last three meetings between the two programs.
The Crimson will take a short break before competing at the CSA Women's Championship to decide the national champion at the Jadwin Squash Courts at Princeton University Feb. 21-23. Harvard will be the No. 1 or No. 2 seed depending on the weekend's results.