Jan. 27, 2012
ANNAPOLIS, Md. — The Navy squash team was rewarded in the rankings this week for its 6-3 win over St. Lawrence a week ago. So, too, were the Yale Bulldogs who assumed the nation’s top spot after knocking off then No. 1-ranked Trinity and who will make their way to Annapolis on Saturday morning to face 13th-ranked Navy. Action is slated for 10:00 am at the Halsey Field House International Squash Courts and admission is free.
Yale, who enters Saturday’s match with a 10-0 record, made national news a week ago after defeating Trinity, 5-4, and ending what was the longest winning streak in the history of varsity intercollegiate sports in the United States. The Bulldogs are the first team to defeat Trinity since 1998, when the Bantams’ record-breaking 252-match streak began.
Trinity’s streak far outweighed other notable intercollegiate winning streaks, including Yale’s swimming team who had a 201-meet winning streak between 1940 and 1961. Miami’s men’s tennis team won 137 matches between 1957 and 1964, and the UCLA men’s basketball team won 88 in a row under John Wooden in the early 1970s. More recently, Penn State’s women’s volleyball team won 109 matches in a streak that ended in 2010 and the Connecticut women’s basketball team won 90 games in a streak that ended last December.
The Bulldogs have three players on their current roster who earned All-America status a year ago, including junior Kenneth Chan who is Yale’s No. 1 player. Meanwhile, Hywell Robinson, the team’s No. 2 player and Richard Dodd, the No. 3 player, both garnered All-America recognition last season. Robinson was one of the five players to earn a win en route to taking down Trinity.
The Midshipmen, meanwhile, have enjoyed great success this season and currently boast a seven-match winning streak which includes a 6-3 win over then 13th-ranked St. Lawrence on Jan. 17. Navy has been close all season to upsetting the best of the best, dropping 5-4 decisions to No. 10 Penn, No. 11 Williams and No. 12 Middlebury, but came up with a big win against the Saints.
One of the players who has provided Navy with a big boost in the lineup is freshman Hunter Abrams (Wilmington, Del.), who missed the first 11 matches after suffering a concussion. He made his debut on Nov. 13 against Northwestern and has rattled on 12-consecutive wins, playing each of the last seven matches at the No. 4 slot.
Junior Billy Abrams (Wilmington, Del.) has settled in nicely to the No. 6 position where he has won nine of his 16 matches this season. He owns a 16-1 record to date which features a 10-match winning streak.
Freshmen Jim Kacergis (Malvern, Pa.) and Colin Barry (St. Louis, Mo.) have also put together strong performances over the last several weeks and head into the Yale match having won each of their last seven matches. Kacergis stands No. 3 in the lineup and owns a 17-2 season record, while Barry is Navy’s No. 5 player and has won a team-high 18 matches this season.
Navy will honor team captain John Tracey (Owings Mills, Md.) prior to the match. Tracey, who stands 15-5 this season plays the No. 7 spot in the lineup for the Mids. Over his four-year career, he has amassed an impressive 48-8 record and has the best winning percentage of any Navy lacrosse player during head coach Craig Dawson’s 12-year career.
Yale holds a 38-8 series advantage over the Midshipmen, including a 16-6 mark in matches played in Annapolis. The Bulldogs have won 27-consecutive matches against Navy, giving up only 3 individual bouts (2001, ‘04, ‘10) in the last 14 matches. The last Navy win in the series was a 7-2 decision at home on Feb. 2, 1985.
Next up for the Midshipmen is a trip to Geneva, N.Y. next Saturday where they will face Hobart at 10:00 am, followed by a 2:00 pm contest against No. 9 Western Ontario.
### Go Navy ###