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No. 2 Elis Lose Out on Ivy League Title with 7-2 Defeat by No. 3 Harvard

No. 2 Elis Lose Out on Ivy League Title with 7-2 Defeat by No. 3 Harvard

Feb. 14, 2004

The Harvard Crimson overpowered the Bulldogs at the Brady Squash Center, winning 7-2 in a contest that determined the Ivy League champion. The Cantabs jumped out to an early 4-0 lead after sweeping the even-numbered matches and did not look back, dropping only two matches to Yale's Julian Illingworth and Trevor Rees. The Elis will have a chance to avenge the loss in two weeks when they host the CSA Team Championships.

In the top position, Yale's Julian Illingworth, who is ranked second nationally, defeated No. 4 Will Broadbent in a 3-0 win in front of a standing-room only crowd at center court. Yale's other victory came from Trevor Rees' 3-0 defeat of Harvard's Andrew Pacelli.

On paper, the match looked to be extremely close, with Harvard having the edge in the even-numbered matches and the Bulldogs seeming stronger in the odd numbers. Yale hoped to grab some of the early even-numbered matches, but the Crimson came out to a 4-0 lead with victories in each one.

"They were strong at the even numbered matches, and we were hoping to get one or two," said Yale head coach Dave Talbott. "They were all over us today. They played very well, and there are no excuses. But it's disappointing."

Yale's Anshul Manchanda dropped his match at the No. 2 slot, falling 3-0 to Harvard's Siddharth Suchde. At No. 4, Gavin Cumberbatch jumped to an early 1-0 lead but surrendered the final three games to James Bullock, who won the match 3-1.

At the No. 6 and No. 8 positions, Asher Hochberg defeated Andrew Vinci and Isaac Whitman bested Terence Li. Vinci's loss was a hard-fought 3-2 match, while Li fell 3-0.

Going into the odd numbered matches down 4-0, the Elis needed a sweep to win the competition. But when captain Ryan Byrnes fell 3-0 at the No. 9 position, Harvard had clinched the win and the Ivy League crown.

In the rest of play, Josh Schwartz came back after dropping the first game to tie the match at a game apiece, and nearly took the lead in the third game. But he fell 3-1 to Ilan Oren in the tough match. Nick Chirls was defeated 3-0 at No. 5 by Mike Blumberg to seal the contest.

Despite losing out on the Ivy title they sought, Elis will have a chance to replay Harvard in two weeks when Yale hosts the CSA Team Championships.

report by Katie Baker '05, Yale Sports Publicity Department

1. Julian Illingworth (Y) def. Will Broadbent (H) 3-0 (9-0, 9-7, 9-6)
2. Siddharth Suchde (H) def. Anshul Manchanda (Y) 3-0 (9-3, 9-4, 10-8)
3. Ilan Oren (H) def. Josh Schwartz (Y) 3-1 (9-3, 6-9, 9-7, 9-3)
4. James Bullock (H) def. Gavin Cumberbatch (Y) 3-1 (5-9, 9-6, 9-0, 9-0)
5. Mike Blumberg (H) def. Nick Chirls (Y) 3-0 (9-5, 9-5, 9-7)
6. Asher Hochberg (H) def. Andrew Vinci (Y) 3-2 (9-4, 4-9, 9-5, 5-9, 9-1)
7. Trevor Rees (Y) def. Andrew Pacelli (H) 3-0 (9-3, 9-3, 9-7)
8. Isaac Whitman (H) def. Terence Li (Y) 3-0 (10-8, 9-1, 9-1)
9. Garnett Booth (H) def. Ryan Byrnes (Y) 3-0 (9-2, 9-3, 9-0)