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The class of '77, which was captained in its senior year by current Princeton head coach Bob Callahan, won the Ivy League in '75 and '77 and finished in a three-way tie with Harvard and Penn in '74. This Ivy League crown was the 12th in the 72-year history of the Princeton program and the fifth in Callahan's 22-year tenure. The Tigers have also won nine CSA regular-season titles and will be going for a tenth this coming weekend when they face five-time defending champion Trinity in Hartford Saturday afternoon.
Though slightly out-manned in most of yesterday's match-ups, 2001 Ivy League champion Harvard battled gallantly, taking two of the four matches in the opening "evens" shift and pressing Princeton throughout; indeed, had the Tigers not come away with all five of the tiebreaker games sprinkled among the Nos. 1, 4, 5, 7 and 9 matches, the meet outcome, or at least the deceptively dominant-looking 7-2 margin, might have been quite different.
Evans handily defeated Crimson star James Bullock 9-3, 6 and 3 at No. 2 in the only match of the day that didn't require either a fourth game or a tiebreaker session to resolve.
Evans has had plenty of trouble over the years with Bullock, who held match-balls against him in their pre-season Ivy Scrimmage matches both this year and last before losing both 10-9 in the final game, and Bullock had scored a big 3-0 win over Yik in the 2002 Harvard-Princeton dual meet. But Evans for each of the past two seasons has played his best squash during the last six weeks of the season, after he returns from his holiday visit to his native New Zealand, as witness his advance all the way to the final round of the Intercollegiate Individual tournament last March after an inconsistent autumn, and he was at the very top of his game on this occasion as well.
parents traveled all the way from Auckland to watch their son in this
important meet, as did the parents of Yik from Vancouver, Rutherford from
Calgary and El-Halaby from Egypt. The parents, siblings and other family
members of all of the players in the Princeton varsity program were all
invited to a dinner hosted by Coach Callahan as part of an annual tradition
established a few years ago and always scheduled on the eve of that year's
home match against a Big Three rival (Yale last year). This year's celebration
held special significance given the career-long
over 100 people attended this year's festivities and there is no doubt
key to this match was the ending of the second game, after Rutherford
Balancing off this pair of Princeton opening-shift victories was a four-game victory by Harvard's Asher Hochberg over Aaron Zimmerman at No.6 and a thriller that wound up in Gaurav Yadav's column over Tiger sophomore Nate Beck at No. 8 in what was clearly the most exciting match of the day.
father Ron played an important role on that '74 co-Ivy League champion
Now in this match against Yadav, Beck won the first two games fairly decisively and held a pair of match-balls at 8-5 in the third before ceding that game 10-8. He then got to two more match-balls in the fourth (one at 8-7 and another at 9-8), but when Yadav extricated himself from those predicaments he was home free in the fifth, which he led 6-0 and wound up winning 9-1.
a result of Yadav's heroics, the team score stood at 2-2 instead of in
Princeton No. 9 Rob Siverd complemented el-Halaby's triumph
current situation held the dangerous potential of repeating last week's
But, as he has frequently done over the course of his four-year Tiger career, especially on his home Jadwin Gymnasium turf, Pearson was able to reach back and come through in the clutch. He knocked off three straight points to finish the match 10-9 and thereby clinch the meet and the Ivy League crown for Princeton. Wilkins would go on to out-duel Storch in a close and pivotal 9-6 third game prior to rolling through the 9-1 fourth, and in the day's final match, Yik rallied to defeat Blumberg in five.
relieved Tiger crew will now take aim against Trinity, whom they defeated
4-1 in the final
of the USSRA Five-Man Team tournament this past December, while a
RECAP (Princeton 7, Harvard 2)
Yasser el-Halaby (P) d Will Broadbent (H) 3-0 10-8, 0, 3
See more photos - [Harvard vs Princeton photogallery]
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