The middle of Harvard's line up propels it past the Yellow Jackets. (Zack Williamson)
HARTFORD, Conn. – No. 3 Harvard men's squash began its title defense Friday evening against No. 6 Rochester in an opening round matchup in the 2015 CSA Men's Team Championship. The two teams battled to the very end with the Crimson edging the Yellow Jackets, 5-4.
Devin McLaughlin put the Crimson ahead 1-0 with a strong 3-0 sweep at the No. 6 position. Freshman Seif Eleinen took care of his match at the No. 9 position, winning out 3-1 and putting the Crimson ahead 2-0. Rochester struck back when Dylan Murray lost 3-0 at the No. 3 position.
Sophomore Bryan Koh scored Harvard's second 3-0 sweep of the night at the No. 5 position, pushing the Crimson's lead to 3-1. The Yellow Jackets would then tie the score up with wins at the No. 8 and No. 2 positions.
Freshman David Ryan played a good match at the No. 4 position, taking a 3-1 victory after dropping the first game, putting the Crimson ahead, 4-3.
Senior captain Tyler Olson was pushed to five games in the most important match of the night at the No. 7 position. Olson and Rochester's Aria Fazelimanesh traded wins to open the match with Fazelimanesh going up 2-1 after three games. Olson stormed back to take the next two games for a 3-2 victory, clinching Harvard's place in the semifinals.
With the match already in hand Madhav Dhingra at the No. 1 position fell, with the final score ending at 5-4.
The Crimson is back in action, Saturday, Feb. 21 at 2:30 p.m. against No. 2 St. Lawrence for a spot in the Potter Cup final.
Harvard 5, Rochester 4
1. Kobayashi def. Dhingra - (3-2)
2. Yanez def. Murray - (3-0)
3. Cordell def. Smith - (3-1)
4. Ryan def. Endo - (3-1)
5. Koh def.Mohr - (3-0)
6. McLaughlin def. Berocchi - (3-0)
7. Olson def. Fazelimanesh - (3-2)
8. Meng def. Roberts - (3-1)
9. Eleinen def. Pitfield - (3-1)
Order of Finish: 6, 9, 3, 5, 8. 2, 4, 7, 1