Monday, February 29, 2016

Women win National Championship

Just two weeks after securing the Ivy Championship, our women’s team finished off the season by winning the national team title this past weekend. The Crimson beat Penn 5-4 in the final after coming back from being 1-3 down. This is the 16th national championship in program history and the second consecutive one. 

After beating Cornell in the quarterfinal, the team had a close semifinal against Trinity: Both #1 Sabrina Sobhy and #2 Kayley Leonard suffered the first personal losses of the season against Trinity’s #1 and #2. The bottom 3 for the Crimson in addition to #3 Alyssa Mehta and #5 Michelle Gemmell beat their opponents in three and sealed the victory. 

The final against Penn was also a difficult one: Being 1-3 down, Dileas MacGowan at #8 and Kayley Leonard at #2 leveled the match score. After Penn took an important win at #4, Harvard needed both remaining matches. Senior co-captain Saumya Karki didn’t allow the Penn #7 to come back despite losing the 3rd game. Karki found her rhythm again in the 4th and won, bringing the match score to 4-4. It was down to freshman Sabrina Sobhy who was playing against Penn’s Reeham Sedky - a nemesis from her junior days. Sobhy handled the pressure well, clinching the match 11-9 in the fourth after a brave, yet fair, “no let” call from the referee. 

Quarterfinal: Harvard Women vs. Cornell Women 9-0

Semifinal: Harvard Women vs. Trinity Women 5-4

Final: Harvard Women vs. Penn 5-4

Men finish 6th after one of the closest college seasons ever

The men were seeded #6 after the regular season and ended up finishing 6th at nationals. A top 4 finish was not far at all as the Crimson suffered a close 5-4 loss against #3 seeded St. Lawrence in the quarterfinal. 

The team went into the weekend without co-captain, #6 Devin McLaughlin, who dislocated his shoulder in the last regular season match.  Despite the challenge of playing higher up than before, Harvard’s #7, 8 and 9 played extremely well and won all of the matches against St. Lawrence. #9 Jack Cooper was down 0-2 and 3-7 in the 3rd before coming back and winning in five games. Dylan Murray at #5 took the 4th win for the Crimson. 

Alexi Gosset at #6 and Bryan Koh at #3 took a game each but ended up losing in four games. The rest of the team fought hard but wasn’t able to turn the match around. 

In the consolation plate, the Crimson beat Dartmouth 6-3 to make it to the 5/6 playoff in which they faced Penn. Harvard had won the regular season match against the Quakers but wasn’t able to repeat it this past weekend. Penn was the better team that day and walked away with the 5th place finish.

Quarterfinal: Harvard Men vs. St. Lawrence 4-5

5/8 Playoff: Harvard Men vs. Dartmouth 6-3

5/6 Playoff: Harvard Men vs. Penn 2-7

From top to bottom, all the teams in the Potter Cup played close matches during the regular season as well as this past weekend: Out of the 12 matches in the A division, there were five 5-4 matches and three 6-3’s. On the women’s side, the matches were very close amongst the top 4 teams (Harvard, Penn, Trinity and Princeton). 

The coaches are very proud of both teams. While most players are done for the season, some of our top players will be contesting at the Individual National Championships at Chelsea Piers in Stamford, CT this coming weekend. 

We will send a recap of the tournament and the season as a whole after the weekend. As a reminder, following the semifinals on the Saturday (March 5), the championship will feature a gala bringing back many of the past champions. 

More information on the individual tournament and gala:

Go Crimson!

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