The women’s squash team extended its win streak this weekend, dropping George Washington in the nation’s capital on Saturday. The 9-0 victory marks the fourth straight matchup in which the Tigers have not dropped a match.
For some time at the No. 1 spot, however, that wasn’t clear. Freshman Maria Elena Ubina, who returned to the court this week after missing the Dec. 4 match against Drexel with an ankle injury, fought Gaby Parras and opened with tight 6-11, 14-12 and 12-10 victories before dropping the fourth to force the match to go to five. Ubina started the final set down early, but rallied to win in a 12-10 thriller. Senior Libby Eyre won in four games at the No. 2 spot, but Princeton took the remainder of the matches in three straight games.
The Tigers will enter the New Year undefeated and will hope to stay perfect after their season continues on Jan. 11 against Harvard, the defending national champion.
The men’s team has had a rougher start to its season, however. No. 5 Rochester dropped the No. 7 Tigers 6-3 on the road in the team’s last match of 2013.
Sophomore Vivek Dinodia, last season’s Ivy League Rookie of the Year, defeated his opponent at the seventh spot in a tough match that went all the way to five games, and classmate Michael LeBlanc picked up a victory at the No. 8 position in four games. Senior Ash Egan won in three straight at the No. 9 spot to round out the victories of the day for Princeton.
“Mentally and physically, it was a challenging match for us,” senior Dylan Ward, who was defeated in three games at No. 3, said. “The bottom of our lineup performed incredibly well. We’re a resilient team and are looking forward to bouncing back come January.”
Princeton’s biggest match of the day was played at the No. 2 slot, when junior Tyler Osborne’s opponent Ryosei Kobayashi leveled Osborne’s early 2-0 lead and forced the game to go to five. Junior David Hoffman was unable to hold on to an early first game lead at the No. 5 spot, dropping the next three to lose in four. Junior Samuel Kang lost at No. 1 in tight 11-8, 11-8, 11-9 games.
The Tigers have a split record of two wins and two losses so far as they head into the break in their season. Princeton will travel to Boston to take on Harvard on Jan. 11 when the squad returns from winter break. When Princeton played Harvard at last year’s Collegiate Squash Association semifinals, Todd Harrity ’13 beat the Crimson’s Ali Farag at the No. 1 spot, handing him the first loss of his collegiate squash career. The Tigers lost the match 4-5, however, and finished third in the CSA Team Championships.