No. 1 Harvard vs. No. 9 Stanford
Harvard enters the season as defending national champions (Athletic Communications).
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The Harvard women's squash team will commence its 2015-16 campaign Friday at home in a noon showdown against No. 9 Stanford. The match can be seen live on the Ivy League Digital Network.
Topping the Ranks
Harvard enters the season as the No. 1 team in the nation according to the Dunlop 2015-16 Women's College Squash Association Preseason Rankings, marking the sixth consecutive year the Crimson enter the season as the top team in the nation.
A Season Ago
Mike Way, the Gregory Lee '87 and Russell Ball '88 Endowed Coach for Squash at Harvard University, guided the Crimson to its 16th College Squash Association national championship last season after downing Trinity, 7-2, in the title game. The Crimson posted a 13-1 record with its lone loss coming early in the season at Penn in a 5-4 decision.
Scouting No. 9 Stanford
Stanford posted a 7-9 record last season and claimed the Kurtz Cup for the first time in program history. After winning its opening two matches last year, the Cardinal went just 1-8 over its next nine matches. The Cardinal rebounded to go 4-1 to finish the season, including sweeping the Kurtz Cup with a perfect 3-0 record.
Mark Talbott enters his 11th season at the helm of the Cardinal. Talbott was inducted into the Squash Hall of Fame in 2000 and was ranked the No. 1 professional in North America for 12-straight years.
Michelle Gemmell and Alyssa Mehta earned second team CSA All-America status after outstanding 2014-15 season. Gemmell posted a 13-1 record playing primarily at the No. 4 position and secured Harvard's CSA Team National Championship with a 3-1 victory over Trinity's Julia Le Coq. The junior was honored as the Howe Cup Player of the Tournament for her performance.
Mehta sparked the college scene with a 10-2 record playing primarily at the No. 3 position, including two crucial wins against George Washington and Trinity during Harvard's title run.
Katherine Tutrone earned a nod on the All-Ivy squad for the second-straight season, posting a 7-5 record primarily at the No. 2 position, including a perfect 2-0 mark at the No. 1 spot.
Way and the rest of the coaching staff have brought in three of the top freshman from around the world to strengthen an already solid line up. Kayley Leonard,Sophie Mehta and Sabrina Sobhy will look to make an impact early on for the Crimson.
Related Link: Women's Squash Welcomes Class of 2019
Aye, Aye Captain
Isabelle Dowling and Saumya Karki will serve as team captains for the season. Dowling has posted a 32-9 record during her career while Karki has gone 34-5 during her time in Crimson.
Harvard returns 12 student-athletes from last season's championship squad, losing five to graduation, including four of Harvard's top-nine players.
In The Family
The Mehta sisters will be reunited as Sophie joins Sister Alyssa Mehta, a sophomore, while Sabrina continues the Sobhy name after the graduation of Amanda Sobhy '15.
Harvard has had a pair of sisters on the squad each season since 2012. Michelle and Laura Gemmell '13 competed with each other for a season while Haley and Keegan Mendez '15 spent two years on the court together in Cambridge.
Harvard will return to action Dec. 1 for its first road trip of the year as they head to Dartmouth for a 5 p.m. match.
Ivy League Digital Network
The Ivy League Digital Network returns for a third season as the home for all live streaming and on-demand video content for each of the conference's eight institutions. Broadcast in full HD and featuring a live score bug and play-by-play and color commentary, the Ivy League Digital Network provides fans with unprecedented access to the Ancient Eight.
Multiple subscription options are available to fans, including school-specific and league-wide passes. To learn more about the Ivy League Digital Network or to sign-up today, click here.