In its first big test of the 2012-13 season, the national champion Princeton men's squash team dug out of an early situation and handed the fifth-ranked Rochester Yellowjackets a 7-2 defeat Saturday afternoon at the Jadwin Squash Courts.
The top-ranked Tigers got victories from each of their three returning All-Americas, but they also got wins from three underclassmen who were not part of the championship lineup last season. The seventh victory, and also the most dramatic, came from a junior who made a habit of winning crucial matches last season.
Princeton actually found itself even 2-2 and trailing at the No. 2 spot at one point in the final match of a magical 2012 calendar year. Princeton got a quick win at No. 9 from freshman Vivek Dinodia, and then a 3-1 win from sophomore All-America Tyler Osborne, but Karm Kumar earned Rochester a point with a thrilling 3-2 comeback win over Princeton's Steve Harrington at No. 6.
Rochester evened the match at 2-2 when William Mohr scored a 3-0 win over Princeton freshman Michael LeBlanc at the No. 8 spot, and teammate Neil Cordell held a 2-0 lead over All-America Samuel Kang at the No. 2 spot. Kang, whose tireless level of play led him to a brilliant freshman season last year, got on a roll starting in the third game and claimed a win with 11-3, 11-3 and 11-2 victories.
Freshman Taylor Tutrone followed with a 3-0 at the No. 5 spot to move Princeton one match away from its fourth team win of the season, and each member of the Tiger third shift did its part. Sophomore David Hoffman closed the match with a 3-0 win at No. 7, while three-time All-America Todd Harrity scored a 3-0 win at No. 1.
While Princeton had clinched the team win, the final individual match would be a dramatic one. Junior Dylan Ward, who had crucial victories against both Harvard and Trinity last season, held off multiple match balls in the fifth game before scoring a 13-11 victory to clinch Princeton's seventh win.
The Tigers improved to 4-0, including two wins over Top 7 teams, and will return to the court during the weekend of January 12-13 to open the Ivy season with home matches against Dartmouth and No. 3 Harvard.
No. 1 Princeton 7, No. 5 Rochester 2
1 - Todd Harrity (P) d. Andres Duany 7,4,5
2 - Samuel Kang (P) d. Neil Cordell (8),(11),3,3,2
3 - Tyler Osborne (P) d. Faraz Khan 8,(4),5,1
4 - Dylan Ward (P) d. Adam Perkiomaki 7,(7),3,(9),11
5 - Taylor Tutrone (P) d. Oscar Lopez 7,4,8
6 - Karm Kumar (R) d. Steve Harrington (6),13,(11),8,8
7 - David Hoffman (P) d. Xiaomin Meng 3,7,9
8 - William Mohr (R) d. Michael LeBlanc 9,10,1
9 - Vivek Dinodia (P) d. Juan Herrera 3,3,8