Men's Squash Clinches Ivy Championship With 6-3 Win Over Cornell
The Princeton men's squash team knew that the Ivy League would be loaded this season, and it would take something special to come away with its 17th league crown. Time after time, Princeton found special efforts, and it clinched at least a share of that title Friday with a 6-3 win over Cornell.
Princeton is now 11-1 overall, 6-0 in the Ivy League, and it can clinch the outright title Sunday afternoon when it takes on Columbia in New York City. The Lions are a first-year program, though they picked up their first Ivy win this season over Brown.
The men’s squash team caught an early break during the first shift, as Cornell’s Aditya Jagtap needed to injury default after going into the right wall hard during a point in the No. 3 match. Both Jagtap and Princeton freshman Tyler Osborne had won a game in their match on the main court, but Jagtap was unable to continue his match, which was even at 2-2 in the third game.
Princeton built the lead to 2-0 with a 3-0 victory from senior Clay Blackiston over Arjun Gupta at the No. 6 position. Blackiston is playing as well as anybody on the roster, as evidenced by his sweep last week against both Trinity and Yale. With consistently deep drives, he controlled the tempo of the match and assured Princeton a lead after the first shift.
Cornell got on the board with a 3-1 win from Rishi Jalen at the No. 9 position over Princeton senior David Pena. After splitting the first two games, Jalen fought off a game ball in the third to claim victory, and he held off a Pena rally in the fourth to take the match. It was the first varsity match this season for the veteran Pena, who will be looking to make a late impact at next weekend’s CSA team championships.
Knowing how dangerous this Cornell team is, Princeton head coach Bob Callahan wanted to get the win clinched as early as possible. His second shift got it done, winning three hard-fought 3-1 matches to assure the league crown.
The first to win was freshman Samuel Kang, who was down 5-2 in the third game after splitting the first two with Will Hartigan. Kang caught fire and forced Hartigan around the court, chipping away and eventually building a lead. He took the third and followed with a strong fourth to give Princeton a 3-1 edge.
Senior co-captain Chris Callis, in the midst of his best season, took on the talented Alex Domenick at the No. 2 position and was in control after two games. Domenick came back with his best effort in the third, but Callis raced out to a 6-0 lead in the fourth and never trailed before moving Princeton to within one win of the Ivy League title.
Junior Steve Harrington, like Kang, found himself trailing in the third game at the No. 8 position, but he rallied with some big points late to earn the 2-1 lead. He never let Bryan Keating breathe in the fourth and assured the win with an 11-1 victory. The win left head coach Bob Callahan with his fist pumped in the air, as he earned his 10th Ivy League title as head coach.
Princeton junior Todd Harrity overcame a first-game loss to win his 2011 national individual final rematch against Nick Sachvie 3-1, while Cornell scored wins at both No. 4 and No. 7 to finish off the 6-3 match.
1 Todd Harrity (P) d. Nick Sachvie (5),4,3,9
2 Chris Callis (P) d. Alex Domenick 7,6,(3),6
3 Tyler Osborne (P) d. Aditya Jagtap (10),5,2 (injury default)
4 Thomas Spettigue (C) d. Kelly Shannon 10,(7),5,5
5 Samuel Kang (P) d. Will Hartigan 3,(9),7,4
6 Clay Blackiston (P) d. Arjun Gupta 4,6,6
7 Owen Butler (C) d. Dylan Ward 8,(4),6,5
8 Steve Harrington (P) d. Bryan Keating 11,(10),8,1
9 Rishi Jalen (C) d. David Pena (8),4,12,8