No. 5 Harvard Edges No. 2 Yale in Championship at Preseason Ivy Scrimmages

Hywel Robinson. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Hywel Robinson. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The defending Ivy League champion Yale men's squash team, ranked No. 2 in the country in the preseason poll, fell to No. 5 Harvard 5-4 in the championship match at the Ivy League Scrimmages Sunday at Yale's Brady Squash Center.

This was the first meeting between the two teams since the Bulldogs beat the Crimson 7-2 last February in Cambridge to clinch sole possession of the 2011 Ivy League championship. Yale, which has not lost a regular season Ivy League match since Jan. 31, 2009 (7-2 to Princeton), got wins at the No. 3 spot (junior Hywel Robinson), No. 4 spot (senior John Roberts), No. 6 spot (senior Ryan Dowd) and the No. 7 spot (sophomore Neil Martin).

Playing at the No. 1 spot Sunday, Harvard's Brandon McLaughlin was able to reverse the 3-1 loss to senior Kenneth Chan from February, topping Chan 3-1 to help clinch the victory at the scrimmage. Gary Power, who played No. 1 for the Crimson vs. the Bulldogs last February and ended the season ranked No. 7 in the country, played No. 2 this time around and beat junior Richard Dodd 3-1. A narrow 3-2 win at the No. 9 spot by Harvard's Tom Mullaney over Bulldog sophomore Charlie Wyatt ultimately proved key in the Crimson's 5-4 win. Harvard also got wins at No. 5 (Tyler Olson over Robert Berner) and No. 8 (Julian Kirby over Samuel Clayman).

The Bulldogs advanced to the scrimmage championship with wins over No. 20 Columbia and No. 6 Cornell on Saturday, both by 8-1 scores.

"The team showed they were fit and strong, but we need more work on technical and match situations," said head coach David Talbott. "It was a good weekend for evaluation and a chance to see where the team's weaknesses are at this point.  It is going to be wide open this year for the league championship, and our team came away confident that Yale will be right in the hunt again."

Yale opens the regular season with matches at Franklin & Marshall and Haverford on Dec. 3.

Report by Sam Rubin '95 (, Yale Sports Publicity