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December 17, 2013

Four Ivies are Unbeaten in Men's Squash Action Thus Far

Photo courtesy of Cornell Athletic Communications

PRINCETON, N.J. -- Led by second-ranked Harvard and third-ranked Yale, four of the eight Ivy League men's squash squads are still unbeaten as the teams break for the holidays. 

The Crimson is a perfect 4-0 after a quartet of 9-0 sweeps. They are joined by Yale, Cornell and Penn in the unbeaten ranks. Nationally, there are seven unbeaten teams remaining. 

Here is a quick look at each of the Ivies thus far:  

Brown
The Bears (2-4) are ranked No. 17 in the latest Dunlop Rankings that were released on December 8. Brown snapped a three-match losking skid with a 9-0 win over Northeastern at home on December 7. The Bears had lost consecutive 5-4 decisions to Wesleyan and Drexel prior to that. Blake Reinson is 4-2 this season at the No. 1 position for the Bears, while Hoony Lee is off to a 5-1 start. 

Upcoming Schedule: Jan. 11 Cornell, Jan. 12 Columbia, Jan. 17 at Bates, Jan. 18 at Bowdoin.  

Columbia
With a 1-1 record, the Lions sit at No. 11 in the Dunlop rankings. Columbia shutout George Washington, 9-0, to open the season and then dropped a 5-4 decision at Cornell in the Ivy opener on December 7. Ramit Tandon, a unanimous All-Ivy selection last year, is 2-0 playing at No. 1 for the Lions having won both of his matches in three-game sweeps. Mohamed Abdel Maksoud is also 2-0 after winning a five-game thriller over Cornell's Bryan Keating (9-11, 18-20, 11-7, 11-9, 12-10). 

Upcoming Schedule: Jan. 11 at Yale, Jan. 12 at Brown, Jan. 17 vs. Wesleyan at Amherst, Jan. 17 at Amherst, Jan. 18 vs. Franklin & Marshall at Amherst, Jan. 19 vs. Williams. 

Cornell
Ranked No. 8 currently, the Big Red won its first Ivy match of the 2013-14 season, holding off Columbia for a 5-4 win. Cornell is 3-0 to start the season for the third straight campaign, but it hasn't been easy. The Big Red won at Drexel, 5-4, to open the year and then topped Western Ontario, 6-3.  Rishi Jalan and Graham Dietz are both 3-0 for Cornell, anchoring the middle of the Big Red lineup thus far. Cornell returns from the break with a four-game road trip, including back-to-back matches at No. 3 Yale and at No. 1 Trinity. 

Upcoming Schedule: Jan. 11 at Brown, Jan. 12 at Yale, Jan. 13 at Trinity, Jan. 18 at St. Lawrence.  

Dartmouth
Dartmouth is 1-2 to open the season, sitting at No. 10 in the latest rankings. After dropping the first two matches of the season against Harvard and Franklin & Marshall, The Big Green bounced back to hold off Navy for a 5-4 win. Michael Mistras' win at No. 5 was one of three matches against Navy that went to a fifth-game. Christopher Jung and Mark Funk are both 2-1 for Dartmouth this season. 

Upcoming Schedule: Jan. 11 Penn, Jan. 12 Princeton, Jan. 15 at Trinity.  

Harvard
Harvard is off to another outstanding start this season. The second-ranked Crimson is 4-0 on the season, having won all four outings in 9-0 sweeps and having won 108 of 112 individual games thus far. Ali Farag, the two-time defending Ivy League Player of the Year, is 3-0 on the season to raise his career record at Harvard to 35-2. He is one of eight Crimson off to a 3-0 start this season, including Gary Powers, Tyler Olson and Nicholas Hopcroft solidifying the middle of the lineup. 

Upcoming Schedule: Jan. 11 Princeton, Jan. 12 Penn. 

Penn 
The 13th-ranked Quakers are off to an unbeaten start, as well, having won their first three matches. After a 9-0 shutout of Williams to open the year, Penn defeated George Washington and Navy. George Lemmon is one of five players with a 3-0 individual mark on the squad. Lemmon has won all nine games he has played this season. 

Upcoming Schedule: Jan. 11 at Dartmouth, Jan. 12 at Harvard, Jan. 15 Franklin & Marshall, Jan. 18 at Trinity.   

Princeton
No. 7-ranked Princeton plays seven of its first eight on the road this season. Thus far, the Tigers are 2-2 with a match at Ivy-rival Harvard up next on January 11. The Tigers dropped their season opener at Franklin & Marshall, 7-2, before a pair of 9-0 wins over Williams and Drexel. Princeton lost at Rochester in its last outing, 6-3. Michael LeBlanc is a perfect 4-0 thus far this season and Manik Datta is 3-0 for the Tigers. Last year's Ivy League Rookie of the Year Vivek Dinodia is 3-1 thus far. 

Upcoming Schedule: Jan. 11 at Harvard, Jan. 12 at Dartmouth.   

Yale
Ranked No. 3 currently, Yale is 2-0 after a pair of convincing wins. The Bulldogs downed Amherst, 8-1 and Williams, 9-0, to open the season. In the two matches combined, Yale won 53 of 60 individual games. Thomas Dembinski and Neil Martin lead the lineup and are both 2-0 on the season. Coming back from the holiday break, the Bulldogs will play six of their next seven at home, including a showdown with top-ranked Trinity. 

Upcoming Schedule: Jan. 11 Columbia, Jan. 12 Cornell, Jan. 18 at Rochester.