Monday, February 29, 2016

Yale Squash Wins National Title

Yale men's squash avoided a confrontation with top team Trinity and beat Rochester for the 2016 national championship Feb. 28 in New Haven after winning the Ivy trophy.  Bronxville native Pierson Broadwater '18 (R) has been an important contributor all season. (Yale Athletics photos)
David and Goliath didn't get the opportunity to compete face-to-face in the national-championship match in men's squash.  In a monumental surprise, Goliath was knocked out in an earlier round. Nonetheless, David beat the team that vanquished Goliath and won the national trophy.

In this scenario, Goliath is Trinity, deemed to be the New York Yankees of college squash, the Hartford-based school that won consecutive national squash championships from 1999-2011 and competed in the finals in 19 straight years.

David is Yale, sort of, as Yale reaching the finals wasn't unexpected.

It helped, too, that the championship rounds of the College Squash Association were held in environs Yale knows well--its own home courts at Brady Squash Center. In 2010 and 2011, Yale lost to Goliath, or Trinity, in the national finals.

In the 2016 championship, after upsetting Trinity, Rochester met a determined Ivy League-winning Yale squad Feb. 28. The Bulldogs nipped Rochester, 5-4, and won squash's Potter Cup for team play, its first national title in 26 years. The team finished 15-2. (Individual championships will be held Mar. 4 at Dartmouth.)

Pierson Broadwater '18, a Bronxville native who had racked up squash honors during high-school years at Horace Mann, was one of nine Yale players playing in championship rounds against Rochester.

In the closing rounds, Broadwater lost his match to his Rochester counterpart in three games, but Kah Wah Cheong '17 followed and clinched the victory for the Bulldogs.

Before arriving at Yale, Broadwater, in 2013, was ranked no. 1 in the country in the Under-19 group and was on the U.S. international junior team that competed in Poland. The son of Robert Broadwater '79, as an eighth-grader, he spent a year training in Egypt, the sport's grooming ground for some of the world's best players.

Before the national meet, Yale, coached by Dave Talbott, defeated Harvard on Valentine's Day to win its first Ivy title in five years.

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