Reigning Champ Men's Squash Opens Ivy Defense Against Dartmouth, Harvard
The calendar has finally turned.
The “2012” will forever remain on the Ivy League and national championship banners in the Jadwin Squash Courts, but this is 2013, and there are new challenges to face. If Princeton hopes to put a new year on its Ivy championship banner, it will need to take care of business this weekend.
The Tigers, who lost four starters on last year’s memorable squad, are 4-0 on the season, including an impressive 7-2 home win over the fifth-ranked Rochester Yellowjackets on Dec. 8. That may seem like an eternity ago, but it was actually Princeton’s last dual match on the schedule.
This weekend, however, will start a sprint to the Ivy League championship. Between Jan. 12 and the Feb. 10 home finale against Columbia, Princeton will play seven Ivy League matches, including a Jan. 30 date against Penn. The Tigers are led by seniors Todd Harrity and Steve Harrington, though they will likely see four players face the biggest matches of their young careers. Sophomores Taylor Tutrone and David Hoffman saw limited varsity time last year, though both posted winning records, while freshmen Michael LeBlanc and Vivek Dinodia make their Ivy debuts this weekend.
Seventh-ranked Dartmouth is 3-2 on the season and has been led by senior Chris Hanson, who has been a fixture atop the Big Green lineup in recent years. Hanson is coming off a five-game thriller over Guilherme De Melo of Franklin & Marshall in early December.
The third-ranked Harvard Crimson is 7-0 on the season, and it is looking to avenge a heartbreaking 5-4 home loss to Princeton last season. Current junior Dylan Ward provided the winning point for Princeton with a 3-1 win at the No. 7 spot.
The highlight match of the weekend will come at the No. 1 position Sunday, as the last two individual national champions will meet on the main court. Princeton’s 2011 champion Todd Harrity will take on the reigning champion, Ali Farag of Harvard. Last year, Farag won a thriller 11-7, 6-11, 11-13, 11-6, 11-4.
Both matches are scheduled to begin at 2:30, though they will both finish women's matches against the same schools. All matches will be available on GoPrincetonTigers.TV.