New Haven, Conn. – The longest winning streak in the history of intercollegiate varsity sports, spanning 252 matches and 14 years, ended this evening at Yale University's Brady Courts, as the Trinity College Bantam men's squash team came up on the short end of a 5-4 score in a four hour and 30 minute dual match against the Yale Bulldogs. Trinity, ranked No. 1 in the nation, is now 8-1, while No. 2 Yale is 7-0. Trinity hosts No. 5-ranked Harvard on Saturday, January 21 at 2 p.m.
"Yale played very well, and we could have handled ourselves better in certain situations," stated Trinity Head Coach Paul Assaiante. "They were the better team today. If it weren't for a tremendous comeback by Mackin, the score would have been 6-3. The rest of our season hinges on what we take away from this experience. I always said that I would be relieved when this streak was over, but I guess I was lying because I don't like this feeling at all. Still, in the end, this was a dual match on the road against the No. 2-ranked team in the country, and we will hopefully get to play them again in the National Championships."
Trinity freshman Miled Zarazua (Mexico City, Mexico) posted an early 3-0 victory at the No. 3 position, and classmate Moustafa Hamada (Old Bridge, N.J.) won, 3-1, at the No. 9 spot, but Yale sophomore Neal Martin (Belfast, Ireland) downed Bantam rookie Vishrab Kotian (Mumbai, India), 3-2, to make the score, 2-1, in Trinity's favor after the first wave. Yale junior Hywel Robinson (Bridgend, Wales) earned a 3-0 triumph at the No. 2 position, and senior captain Ryan Dowd (Boston, Mass.) pulled out a 3-1 win at No. 5 to give the lead back to the Bulldogs at 3-2, but Trinity senior co-captain No. 1 Vikram Malhotra (Mumbai, India) blanked Yale's Kenny Chan (Singapore), 3-0, to tie the contest at 3-3. Sophomore Matthew Mackin (Greenwich, Conn.) made a heroic comeback from to win the fifth game after losing a 2-0 lead with losses in the third and fourth games to senior Sam Clayman (Gloucester, Mass.) to give Trinity a 4-3 lead.
The large and raucous crowd turned its attention to the No. 4 and No. 7 matches with Trinity needing just one point to extend its streak. Both junior Johan Detter (Malmoe, Sweden) at No. 4 and classmate Juan Flores (San Salvador, El Salvador) at No. 7 won their opening games for the visitors but both also lost their second games. Detter fell to John Roberts (Belfast, Ireland), 11-7, in the third game, and Flores fell to Robert Bernier (Greenwich, Conn.), 11-6, in his third game just seconds later. Detter made quick work of Roberts in the fourth game with an 11-5 triumph, but Bernier took an 11-8 decision against Flores to tie the game at 4-4 moments later. Bolstered by the home crowd, Roberts took an early 6-3 lead and added four points in a row to jump the lead to 10-3. Detter scored one more point and forced Roberts into several long rallies that ended in let calls before succumbing, 10-4, in the clinching match.
1. TC- Vikram Malhotra d. Kenny Chan, 3-0
2. Y- Hywel Robinson d. Antonio Gonzalez-Diaz, 3-0
3. TC- Miled Zarazua d. Richard Dodd, 3-0
4. Y- John Roberts d. Johan Detter, 3-2
5. Y- Ryan Dowd d. Reinhold Hergeth, 3-1
6. Y- Neal Martin d. Vrishab Kotian, 3-2
7. Y- Robert Bernier d. Juan Flores, 3-1
8. TC- Matthew Mackin d. Sam Clayman, 3-2
9. TC- Moustafa Hamada d. Charlie Wyatt, 3-1
Yale 5, Trinity (Conn.) 4