Both the men’s and women’s squash team closed out their Ivy League season against Columbia and Cornell this past weekend. The women’s team looked to defend their number five ranking, going against no. 9 Columbia and no. 6 Cornell. The men, on the other hand, will look to improve their ranking as they could potentially fall outside of the top eight going into the CSA team tournament.
On Saturday, the men (5-7, 3-4) traveled to New York to face Columbia (6-6, 2-5). The Tigers took the lead early in the match with senior captain Dylan Ward, sophomore Michael LeBlanc and freshman Ben Leizman winning their matches in four games in order to give Princeton the early 3-0 lead. In the next shift of players, junior Tyler Osborne beat Rishi Tandon at number two, while senior co-captain Ash Egan clinched the win with a 3-1 victory at the number eight spot. Junior tri-captain Taylor Tutrone furthered the team’s win with a 3-2 victory at number six. Sophomore Sam Ezratty gave Princeton its seventh win at number seven. Columbia won the final two matches to make the final score 7-2.
With the momentum of the win against the Columbia Lions as well as Senior Day, the Tigers looked to capitalize on their energy to trump the Cornell Big Red. In the first shift, Ward dominated his match with a 3-0 win, but tough losses by LeBlanc and Leizman put the Tigers down 2-1 after the first shift. Princeton evened the score during the second shift, as Egan overcame Abhijit Malik in four games and Osborne beat Aditya Jagtap in four as well. The final shift proved fatal for the Tigers, as Cornell had three big wins at the first, fourth and seventh positions to clinch the team score 6-3.
The women’s squash team faced better odds than the men this past weekend. Against Columbia, the women swept the field with a score of 9-0. The Tigers would only lose two individual games, both coming from senior All-America Libby Eyre in a tight 3-2 win. After taking the first two 12-10 and 10-6, she lost a pair of close games 11-8 and 12-10. In the fifth game, Eyre showed her dominance with a decisive 11-1 win to maintain the Tigers’ sweep. Junior Hallie Dewey also performed well, as she remains unbeaten for the season with a 3-0 win at the number six spot.
Like the men, the women also went into Sunday with the momentum from Columbia as well as the excitement of Senior Day. The Tigers once again dominated against Cornell, winning every matchup to sweep 9-0. With two key wins under its belt this past weekend, the women’s team has solidified its top-five ranking. But the women will look to improve in the national polls against number two Trinity this weekend in the team’s regular-season finale. While the regular-season matchup was postponed due to weather last season, the Tigers will look for revenge on a Bantam lineup that upset them in last year’s Howe Cup semifinal. The men will wait to draw into the CSA team tournaments, which will take place at Harvard starting Friday.