This past Friday, the men’s and women’s squash teams traveled to New York City and faced Columbia in an Ivy League matchup. The teams saw split results – the men (14-0, 4-0 Ivy) brought home yet another victory to continue its undefeated streak, while the women (7-6, 1-3) suffered a third consecutive defeat.
The No.1 ranked men’s team swept the No. 6 Lions 8-1. Freshman Roger Baddour, juniors Dillon Huang and Saksham Choudhary, and graduate student Yash Bhgarva each picked up straight three-game wins.
Freshman Nathan Kueh, sophomore Dana Santry, senior Aly Abou Eleinen, and graduate student Andrew Douglas claimed victory in their matches. Sophomore Nick Spizzirri fell short to his opponent after a tough 4-game match only with a small margin.
“It’s an away game, and away games are always hard,” Choudhary said. “It’s my first time playing at Columbia, which is a tough place to play at. It was challenging given that last week we played some top-10 ranked programs, so going from that to an away game was definitely a challenge.”
Since his freshman year, Choudhary has won every single match he has played for the Quakers.
“My mindset is always pretty simple going into the game: I always think about winning the game, and I know my teammates trust me, my coaches trust me, so my job is to respect that trust and play within the best of my ability," Choudhary said. "I don’t think about staying undefeated or anything about the records. It’s just getting a win for the team whenever I play.”
The No. 9 ranked women’s team was trapped in a 3-match losing streak as it suffered a 7-2 loss against No. 5 Columbia. Freshman Emma Wolf and sophomore Avni Anand each defeated their opponents. Freshman Grace Lavin and junior Navmi Sharma were able to secure one game each, though fell short eventually. The Red and Blue have still not defeated a team ranked ahead of them.
“We are a pretty young team, so I think everyone is just looking to improve. I think there is probably a lack of confidence sometimes, but we are definitely building that team culture and team company," Anand said. “For the next matches against Princeton and Cornell, I think we are just looking for some improvements since they are some big matches. Everyone is excited, and I think our goal is just to get some wins to finish the season strong.”
Due to inclement weather, the matches against Cornell have been postponed for a week and will be held at noon on Sunday, Feb. 6 at the Penn Squash Center. With only two game days left in the regular season, the Quakers are looking forward to a strong conclusion. As per the University’s newest regulation, spectators are now allowed to enter athletic facilities by presenting proof of vaccination and valid ID, as well as observing the KN95/double masking requirement.