ON CAMPUS A look at the area college sports scene

Friday, January 20, 2012

Yale squash relishes win over Trinity

Yale men’s squash coach Dave Talbott said his team’s monumental win over Trinity on Wednesday was just as big for the sport as it was for his team.
The Bulldogs beat the nation’s top-ranked Bantams 5-4, ending the longest active win streak in intercollegiate varsity sports. Trinity, the 13-time defending national champion, had won 252 straight matches before falling at Brady Squash Center.
“It’s been really cool for the kids, but it’s great for the sport,” Talbott said. “All the coverage has been really exciting for the kids, but what it does for the sport is even more important.
“It brings attention to a sport that’s never been seen before. Our win has been on CNN and ESPN and in publications like the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times and the New Haven Register. It’s been off the charts.”
Yale captain Ryan Dowd, a senior from Boston who won his match in the contest, has quickly tried to refocus his team for the rest of the season.
Dowd beat Trinity’s Reinhold Hergeth and Yale also got victories from Robert Berner, Hywel Robinson and sophomore Neil Martin. Senior John Roberts closed it out with a dramatic five-set win over Johan Detter.
But now it’s back to reality for the second-ranked Bulldogs, who are 7-0 and don’t play another match at home until Feb. 12 against Harvard. Yale played No. 10 Western Ontario on Friday and will battle powerhouse Rochester, ranked fourth in the country, today in what is expected to be another intense match.
“It’s still crazy,” Dowd said on Friday. “We’re all still getting calls and texts and we know we have a big match (today). We have a big target on our backs for the rest of the season. To beat (Rochester) and then get the No. 1 ranking when they come out on Monday will validate the win.
“We’d been close against Trinity recently and they lost some players, but so did we. We felt that we could compete against them in every individual spot.”
Talbott, who’s been coaching at Yale since 1983 and led the men’s team to national titles and the women’s team to the 2011 crown, said the sport itself is dominated internationally. Continued...
“In the past 10 years I think Trinity has only had one American player,” he said. “Squash is big in Egypt and Pakistan and, of course, there’s great players in England. In America it’s basically a prep school sport for the entitled. Overseas it’s a professional sport.
“The players don’t make as much money as they do in tennis, but they make a good living at it.”
The Bulldogs have a 14-player roster consisting of two state players and eight international students.
“We lost some depth from last year’s team and Trinity had also lost some top players,” Talbott said. “But Trinity also brought in three new players in January, so there was some unknown aspects about their team.”
The players themselves are squash junkies and, after this weekend’s matches, they plan on heading to New York’s Grand Central Station to watch the Tournament of Champions — a world-class event which will be played on portable four-glass wall courts set up right in the station’s depot.
While much of the sport is unique, the intensity is sometimes ferocious. After Trinity beat Yale 5-4 last season in the CSA Team National Championships, a Bantam player screamed right in the face of Yale player following the match’s final point. Dowd said that was tough to swallow.
The Bulldogs got the last word on Wednesday.

Labels: , , ,


Anonymous Anonymous said...

i would clarify that the bantam player who screamed in the face of a yale player was provoked previously in the match and it happened two seasons ago not 1. As much as you can say yale lost some players, they did not lose 5 all-americans and 6 of their top 9 players. yale has a stronger line up then trinity this year but they are still not close to the calibre of previous trinity teams and comparing the losing of players since last year is not comparable. However i still congratulate the yale team for a spectacular victory and a moment in history that will never be taken away from them

January 21, 2012 at 9:01 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well done Yale but please note. It was a very tight match even though Trinity had a weaker team. There were also some very poor or may I say biased decisions which enabled this win. Yale's win certainly adds interest to the whole competition and Trinity having quite easily beaten Harvard a couple days after makes it even more exciting...

January 23, 2012 at 7:23 AM 

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home