Sports

Squash teams continue to struggle in Ivy League

Both men and women fall to top-15 opponents Dartmouth and Yale and drop to 0-7 in conference

By
Sports Editor
Monday, February 10, 2014

Co-captain Chip Lebovitz ’14 plays a ball along the left side of the court Friday in his match against Dartmouth’s Bayard Kuensell. Lebovitz fell in straight sets in one of eight Brown losses against the Big Green.

The men’s and women’s squash teams continued to struggle last week, each falling to Yale, Dartmouth and Harvard. Both teams started their week of matches with 7-2 losses to the Bulldogs at Pizzitola Sports Center Tuesday.

After falling to both Brown teams in Hanover last season, the Big Green returned the favor on Bruno’s home turf Friday, defeating the women 6-3 and the men 8-1. The Crimson swept both teams 9-0 Sunday afternoon.

“All three matches were just a little too tough to win, but overall, our play was solid,” said assistant coach Christopher Sachvie. “Overall, I think we have a good momentum moving into the playoff weekends.”

Despite posting respectable non-conference records, both teams remain winless in Ivy League play after losing their past four meetings.

 

Women’s squash (10-7, 0-7 Ivy)

Bruno’s first challenge of the week came against No. 4 Yale (15-3, 5-2), a team then in contention with No. 1 Harvard (12-0, 7-0) for the Ivy League crown. The Elis justified their ranking, allowing just two individual victories from the Bears.

Isabel Scherl ’17 and Alexandra White ’15 snared Brown’s only wins — from the eight and nine spots, respectively. Yale won every other match in four games or fewer.

When the No. 10 Big Green (4-7, 2-5) came to town Friday afternoon, No. 10 Bruno hoped to turn around its Ivy League season with a win against a comparable opponent. Instead, several Bears suffered disappointing losses amid another weekend of struggles.

Emily Richmond ’16, Mina Shakarshy ’15 and Scherl led the Bears with individual victories. After dropping her first set to Dartmouth’s Katherine Nimmo 11-5, Richmond stormed back, winning the next two games 11-7 and 11-9. Nimmo took the fourth set with a narrow 12-10 advantage, but Richmond finished her off in the fifth, 11-9.

Friday’s matchup was the second time Richmond beat Nimmo in five games this season.

“It was a really tough match,” Richmond said. “I was determined to win, because I knew the match was very important for our team. I thought I played really well and was focused.”

Shakarshy took down Kensy Balch in four stanzas, while Scherl posted Bruno’s only straight set victory over Sarah Caughey.

The rest of the team did not have the same success. After taking the first two games of her match, captain Dori Rahbar ’14, a former Herald contributing writer, lost the next three to Dartmouth’s number one, Jacqueline Barnes.

Sarah Domenick ’14 fell in straight sets to Melina Turk from the second spot, and Hannah Hay-Smith ’17 also fell in three games to Nina Scott from the third position. The Big Green finished off its 6-3 victory with wins in the six, seven and eight slots.

The top-ranked, undefeated Crimson smothered Bruno Sunday afternoon in its seventh 9-0 sweep of the season, clinching sole possession of the Ivy League championship. Shakarshy highlighted the day, winning Bruno’s only individual game.

“We all played pretty well, and we all tried really hard,” Richmond said. “We weren’t expecting a whole lot against Harvard.”

 

Men’s squash (4-14, 0-7)

The No. 19 men’s team posted its best of three dismal performances against No. 3 Yale (14-2, 6-1) Tuesday evening. The bottom of Bruno’s lineup supplied the team’s two victories against the Elis.

Co-captain Chip Lebovitz ’14, a former Herald opinions columnist, led the Bears from the eighth spot with a five-set victory over Yale’s Peter Dewire. Ross Freiman-Mendel ’16 tallied the team’s other win with a four-game triumph over Huw Robinson. The Bulldogs defeated every other Bear in four games or fewer.

Against No. 12 Dartmouth (3-9, 1-6), co-captain Blake Reinson ’14 mustered Bruno’s only individual victory. The Bears’ top player took down Dartmouth’s number one, Alexander Greer, in straight sets.

“I was just focused and feeling good,” Reinson said. “It was a good day. I was kind of able to pull it together and play really well and never let my opponent get anything going.”

Oliver Booth ’16 and Alex Baldock ’17 both took their matches to five sets but could not finish off their Big Green opponents.

No. 2 Harvard (15-0, 7-0) rolled over the Bears 9-0 Sunday afternoon, sweeping Bruno for the sixth consecutive meeting and clinching an Ivy League title. Baldock led the Bears in defeat, taking his match to five games but losing in a tiebreaker.

The men and women will both take on Williams at home Tuesday.

“Both should be good matches,” Sachvie said. “The women are trying to keep their spot, and the men are trying to move up.”

“The way we’ve been playing we can take a bunch of matches from them,” Reinson said. “It’s a big match. It should be fun.”

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