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December 1, 2011

Men's Squash Update 1

Photo courtesy of Cornell Athletic Communications

PRINCETON, N.J. -- Five of the eight League men's squash teams have taken to the court, and the conference has yet to suffer the agony of defeat in the early stages of the 2011-12 season. Dartmouth leads to way with a 3-0 mark while Cornell and Princeton are each 2-0 on the year. Brown and Harvard have one win apiece while Columbia, Penn and Yale have yet to start their seasons.

All eight Ivy League men's squash teams are ranked in the top-20 in the latest Dunlop Men's College Squash Association (CSA) Rankings. Yale and Princeton are No. 2 and No. 3, respectively, and are joined in the top-10 by Harvard (5), Cornell (6), Dartmouth (7) and Penn (9). Brown is ranked No. 13 and Columbia comes in at No. 20.

Men's CSA team rankings as of Nov. 14

Here is a team-by-team look at the Ivy League squads this season:

Brown (1-0, 0-0 Ivy League)
Results & Highlights: The Bears took down No. 16 Bates, 5-4 on the campus of MIT, to open their season. Freshmen Neel Swami and Avi Bahvnani each picked up their first career victories to lead Brown, which also saw sophomore captain Blake Reinson and fellow classmate Chip Lebovitz record wins. Senior captain Brad Thompson iced the match with a 3-1 win at No. 1. Brown returns eight players who competed in last year's CSA Team Championships.

Brown's Return to the Courts: Dec. 3 at the Wesleyan Round Robin (Wesleyan, Conn.)

Columbia (0-0, 0-0 Ivy League)
Results & Highlights: Columbia is coming off a successful inaugural season as a varsity program, as the Lions went 13-5 and won the consolation bracket of the Summers Cup to earn the Barnaby Award as the most improved team at the CSA National Team Championships. Columbia will face a full League slate for the first time but will benefit with the return of seven players, including junior Tony Zou. Freshman Ramit Tandon went undefeated at the Ivy Scrimmages at the number-one position, beating 2010-11 All-Americans from Yale and Dartmouth in straight sets.

Columbia's Return to the Courts: Dec. 2 Cornell Tri-Meet vs. Cornell and St. Lawrence (Ithaca, N.Y.)

Cornell (2-0, 0-0 Ivy League)
Results & Highlights: The sixth-ranked Big Red opened its season with a pair of 9-0 shutouts at the Williams Round Robin in Williamstown, Mass., defeating No. 14 Middlebury and No. 10 Williams. Cornell did not drop a single game in the 10 matches against Middlebury. Junior Nick Sachvie won both of his matches in straight sets at the No. 1 position, as did junior Owen Butler (No. 6), sophomore Bryan Keating (No. 7) and junior Rishi Jalen (No. 8). Sachvie advanced to the finals of the 2010-11 CSA Individual National Championship, ultimately falling to Princeton's Todd Harrity in the title match. Sachvie earned All-Ivy League Team honors last season and was named the League Rookie of the Year.

Cornell's Return to the Courts: Dec. 2 vs. Western Ontario; Dec. 3 Home Tri-Meet vs. Columbia and St. Lawrence

Dartmouth (3-1, 0-1 Ivy League)
Results & Highlights: The Big Green opened its season with a pair of blowout victories, defeating No. 15 Navy, 8-1, and No. 17 George Washington, 9-0. Against Navy, the Big Green won four of the nine matches in three games, two in four games and two in five. Against the Colonials, the Big Green did not drop a match in the 9-0 victory. Dartmouth then took down No. 8 Franklin & Marshall, 5-4, thanks to a pair of five-set, come-from-behind victories by senior Stephen Wetherill and junior Chris Hanson, who earned All-America honors last season. The Big Green opened its League slate against No. 5 Harvard, falling 8-1. Senior Nick Sisodia was the sole victor for Dartmouth, defeating 2010-11 All-American and All-Ivy Gary Power in five sets.

Dartmouth's Return to the Courts: Jan. 14, 2012 vs. Princeton

Harvard (3-0, 1-0 Ivy League)
Results & Highlights: For the 34th-straight season, the Crimson won its season opener, defeating No. 10 Williams, 9-0. Harvard is 55-1 in its last 56 season openers and has not lost its first game of the season since 1977-78. Against Williams, the Crimson took 27 of 30 games to cruise to the victory.  Five Harvard players swept their respective opponents, including sophomore Gary Power, who earned First Team All-America and was a unanimous selection to the All-Ivy League Team in 2010-11. Harvard opened its conference schedule with an 8-1 win over Dartmouth, sweeping seven games against the Big Green. Harvard placed fifth in the CSA Team Championship for the second-straight season last year.

Harvard's Return To The Courts: Dec. 2 vs. NYU

Penn (0-0, 0-0 Ivy League)
Results & Highlights: The Quakers opened their season with a 9-0 shutout of Drexel. Penn swept each of the nine matches and only dropped one of the 28 games that were contested inside the top-nine. Six letterwinners return from last year's squad that placed tenth at the CSA Team Championships. Senior captain Thomas Mattsson is back for his final season after playing each of his first three years in the No. 1 position. Mattsson has won 15 matches through his career at Penn, including nine at the No. 1 position. Fellow classmate and co-captain Trevor McGuinness won a team-best 12 matches in 2011-12, splitting time between No. 5 and No. 6.

Penn's Return To The Courts: Dec. 3 vs. Princeton

Princeton (2-0, 0-0 Ivy League)
Results & Highlights: The third-ranked Tigers are 2-0 to open their season, with wins over No. 8 Franklin & Marshall (7-2) and No. 14 Middlebury (9-0). Princeton did not drop a single game in its win over Middlebury. Junior Todd Harrity is back for the Tigers. He was a unanimous decision for Player of the Year last season and won the individual championship en route to receiving All-America honors. The Philadelphia native became the first American ever to win a collegiate squash championship. He did not lose a single game during the championship tournament and dropped only two games all season. Senior Kelly Shannon also was named first-team All-American after winning the individual second-round consolation draw.

Princeton's Return To The Courts: Dec. 3 at Penn

Yale (0-0, 0-0 Ivy League)
Results & Highlights: The two-time defending Ivy League champions and No. 2-ranked Bulldogs have yet to play a game this season. Yale lost in the championship game of the 2011 CSA National Tournament to top-ranked Trinity, 5-4, and lost only two players from that runner-up squad. Among the returners for the Bulldogs are second-team All-Americans Hywel Robinson, Kenneth Chan and Richard Dodd. Chan and Dodd also were named to the All-Ivy League Team last season.

Yale's Return To The Courts: Dec. 3 at Franklin & Marshall; at Harverford