The Princeton men's squash team earned the right to face Columbia Sunday for the 2014 Hoehn Cup title with a strong late surge against Dartmouth in Saturday morning's semifinal match. With the match even at 3-3 heading into the final shift, Princeton swept the last three matches.
The Tigers will now face Columbia for the second time in nine days when the two teams meet Sunday at 11:30 am. Princeton won a 7-2 match in New York City during the final weekend of the regular season, but they could be sending out a different lineup based on the health of their All-America junior tri-captain, Tyler Osborne.
Osborne, a two-time All-America, led Princeton to the court for the second shift with the Tigers holding a 2-1 lead. He won his first two games against Christopher Jung, but he dropped the third 11-5 and was forced to retire prior to the fourth game. That evened the match at 2-2, but fellow tri-captain Ash Egan fought out of an early 1-0 deficit to win at the No. 8 spot and assure Princeton no worse of a tie entering the final shift.
Dartmouth earned that split with a win at No. 5, but Princeton went back up when junior Samuel Kang swept Nick Harrington at the No. 1 spot. Kang fought for a 13-11 win in the opener, and he carried that momentum to wins of 11-4 and 11-6.
The remaining two matches on court were both close, but the Tigers pulled out each one. With his match even at 1-1, junior David Hoffman won a key 12-10 decision in the third game at the No. 4 spot, and he finished Fletcher Pease 11-6 in the fourth to clinch the team win. Sophomore Sam Ezratty was pushed to a fifth game for the second straight day, but he held on for an 11-9 win.
Princeton was able to play with the lead after senior Dylan Ward (No. 3) and sophomore Michael LeBlanc (No. 6) both won in the first shift. Ward split his first two games, but earned his win with 11-7 and 11-6 victories. LeBlanc was also pushed to a fifth game, but he was in control and finished Michael Mistras off 11-4.
PRINCETON 6, DARTMOUTH 3
1 - Samuel Kang (P) d. Nick Harrington 11,4,6
2 - Christopher Jung (D) d. Tyler Osborne (7),(7),5 (ret.)
3 - Dylan Ward (P) d. Kyle Martino 4,(10),7,6
4 - David Hoffman (P) d. Fletcher Pease (5),7,10,6
5 - Mark Funk (D) d. Taylor Tutrone 9,10,8
6 - Michael LeBlanc (P) d. Michael Mistras 5,(7),8,(6),4
7 - Sam Ezratty (P) d. James Fisch (9),9,7,(2),9
8 - Ash Egan (P) d. Bayard Kuensell (8),7,3,6
9 - George Henderson (D) d. Ben Leizman 3-1 9,(3),7,7