NEW HAVEN, Conn. — Yale began the 2013-2014 season this weekend with a third place finish in the Ivy Scrimmages at the Brady Squash Center. Yale entered the preseason contest seeded No. 4 behind Harvard, Princeton, and Penn but outperformed its seeding to claim the third spot. The result shows the strength of Yale's team this year as well as the challenges the Bulldogs will face from their Ivy League rivals in the upcoming season.
Yale began the tournament early Saturday afternoon with a 9-0 victory over Cornell, setting up an evening showdown against defending Ivy League and national champions Harvard. The Crimson, who also have claimed the top spot in this year's preseason rankings, will as usual be one of Yale's toughest opponents, and this early contest gave a first look at how the two teams match up this season as they battle for Ivy and national titles. Yale built an early 3-1 lead with wins from senior Kim Hay, captain Lilly Fast and junior Anna Harrison in the No. 2, 6 and 9 positions before Harvard evened the contest at 3-3. In the last set of matches, Yale added a win from junior Issey Norman-Ross in the No. 4 spot, but suffered close losses in the other matches, including a hard-fought battle in the No. 1 position between senior Millie Tomlinson and Harvard junior Amanda Sobhy, who has yet to lose a match in her collegiate career. In the end, Yale came up just short, with Harvard eking out a 5-4 win.
On Sunday, Yale faced No. 3 seed Penn in the third-place playoff. Yale got off to a quick start, sweeping the first round of matches to establish a 3-0 lead on the way to a convincing 7-2 victory. The win, over a highly-ranked Penn team that had beaten Yale 8-1 last season, suggests the Ivy and national championships are well within Yale's reach heading into the season.
Coach Dave Talbott was pleased with the team's performance in the scrimmages.
"This event showed that we are back in contention for the Ivy title and a national championship," said Talbott, adding that the senior class, who went undefeated as freshmen, hope to end their Yale careers with another successful championship campaign. "We are all excited to have another opportunity to compete for a title this season."
This weekend's results show that Yale is indeed in good position to compete for the Ivy League and national titles. Yale will have a chance to avenge its defeat when Harvard returns to the Brady Squash Center on February 7th. For now, the Bulldogs will prepare for their regular season opener against Williams on December 6th.
Report by Evan Brown '16, Yale Sports Publicity