Feb. 4, 2006
PRINCETON, N.J. - Three years ago, the Elis were within one point of the Ivy League title, but Princeton broke the Bulldogs' hearts with a 5-4 win at the Brady Squash Center. With that experience under their belts, Yale's seniors and the rest of Dave Talbott's squad turned the tables on Princeton this afternoon, upsetting the Tigers 5-4 on the road at the Jadwin Squash Courts.
"The [seniors] have been pumping away here for four years," Talbott said. "It was great for them."
The No. 3 ranked Tigers, who were without injured defending national champion Yasser El-Halaby, put up a good fight. But Yale captain Julian Illingworth led his teammates to a victory that puts them two matches away from Yale's first Ivy League title since 1990.
Illingworth, No. 6 Avner Geva, and No. 8 Andrew Vinci formed a trio of Bulldog seniors that secured huge wins. Illingworth defeated Mauricio Sanchez at No. 1 in three games and Geva earned the biggest win of his collegiate career with a 3-1 victory over Michael Gilman.
But Vinci's win was the biggest, as he and Princeton's Tom McKay played the match's final and decisive game with the match knotted at four. Vinci won the fourth game 9-3 to secure the Bulldog's triumph.
The Bulldogs found themselves down early, after frehsman Francis Johnson lost to Tim Callahan at No. 9 in a grueling five-game match that lasted over two hours.
Illingworth tied things at three, but the Tigers regained the lead when Dent Wilkens topped Trevor Rees at No. 6. But Moshe Sarfaty evened the match with a hard-fought 3-0 win over Vincent Yu at No. 4.
"It's the longest match I've ever been apart of," Talbott said of the four and one-half-hour battle. "I'm just happy for our five seniors."
A Bulldog win over Brown on Feb. 8 will setup a winner-take-all match for the Ivy title against Harvard on Feb. 22 at the Brady Squash Center.
Yale 5, Princeton 4
No. 1 Julian Illingworth (Y) def. Mauricio Sanchez (P): 3-0
No. 2 Kimlee Wong (P) def. Nick Chirls (Y): 3-0
No. 3 Hesham El Halaby (P) def. Ho Ming Chiu (Y): 3-0
No. 4 Moshe Sarfaty (Y) def. Vincent Yu (P): 3-0
No. 5 Joseph Samuel (Y) def. Nate Beck (P): 3-0
No. 6 Avner Geva (Y) def. Michael Gilman (P): 3-1
No. 7 Dent Wilkens (P) def. Trevor Rees (Y): 3-0
No. 8 Andrew Vinci (Y) def. Tom McKay (P): 3-1
No. 9 Tim Callahan (P) def. Francis Johnson (Y): 3-2
Report filed by Sean Singer '06, Yale Sports Publicity