Freshman Gina Kennedy earned her first career win for the Crimson at the No. 2 spot against Dartmouth (Gil Talbot).
No. 1 Harvard vs. No. 14 Drexel
No. 1 Harvard vs. No. 2 Penn
No. 1 Harvard vs. No. 4 Princeton
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The No. 1 Harvard women's squash team returns to action with road matches against No. 14 Drexel, No. 2 Penn and No. 4 Princeton this weekend. The Crimson hasn't competed since taking down then-No. 9 Dartmouth in its season opener on Dec. 7.
Last Time Out
The No. 1 Harvard women's squash team kicked off its back-to-back national title defense with a 9-0 win against No. 9 Dartmouth in Ivy League play on Dec. 7. The Crimson didn't lose a single game as every player recorded a clean sweep against the Big Green.
Squashing the Competition
Harvard began the season with a clean sweep over its opponent for the first time since the 2014-15 season when it didn't drop a single game to Dartmouth in its first match. Last year, the Crimson posted three perfect matches.
Freshmen Gina Kennedy, Amelia Henley and Eleonore Evans all registered their first wins for Harvard against Dartmouth. Kennedy played at the No. 2 spot, Henley was at No. 3 and Evans earned a 3-0 win at the No. 7 position.
The Crimson was ranked No. 1 overall in the latest Dunlop Women's College Association Team Rankings. Harvard entered the year as the No. 1 team in the nation for the seventh consecutive season.
Making it Look Easy
The Crimson collected its 17th CSA National Championship last season, including its second in a row, after defeating Penn in the Howe Cup, 5-4. Harvard earned its fourth national championship in the last five years after finishing with a 10-0 record during the 2015-16 campaign.
Leaders of the Pack
Seniors Dileas MacGowan and Caroline Monrad will serve as team captains for the 2016-17 season. MacGowan earned a clean sweep from the No. 9 spot, while Monrad cruised to a 3-0 win at No. 8 against Dartmouth.
Harvard returns nine players from last year's championship squad, led by Ivy League Rookie of the Year and Player of the Year Sabrina Sobhy. Returning junior Alyssa Mehta and sophomore Kayley Leonard were also named to the All-Ivy team. All three players were selected to the CSA All-America first team as well.
The Crimson welcomes four incoming freshmen that will look to help guide the Crimson back to national title contention. Eleonore Evans, Amelia Henley, Gina Kennedy and Annika Engstrom will join Harvard this season.
Scouting No. 14 Drexel
Drexel comes into the match against Harvard with a 2-5 mark in 2016-17. The Dragons picked up wins against No. 18 Bowdoin and No. 15 Middlebury on the road. Drexel has yet to host a match this season. The Dragons are led by junior Hayley Hughes who was named to the 2016 All-America second team.
Scouting No. 2 Penn
Penn, the runner-ups in the Howe Cup last year, boasts a 2-0 record to kick off the season. The Quakers rolled to decisive victories over No. 12 George Washington and Virginia, both home matches for Penn. Senior Grace Van Arkel and junior Melissa Alves are the captains for the No. 2 Quakers.
Scouting No. 4 Princeton
Princeton is off to a hot start in the 2016-17 season, currently holding a record of 4-0. The Tigers took down No. 5 Stanford in the opener, before cruising past No. 13 Franklin & Marshall, No. 12 George Washington and No. 14 Drexel. Seniors Maria Elena Ubina and Alex Toth serve as captains for the Tigers this year.
Harvard women's squash will be back in action on Thursday, Jan. 19 as it travels to take on No. 5 Stanford at 5 p.m. PST.