NEW YORK — Sophomore Rutvik Rau secured a thrilling five-game victory over Nicholas Goth Errington as the No. 6 Columbia men’s squash team (4-1) fell to No. 9 Cornell 4-5 in Saturday’s Ivy League season opener contested at the SL Green Street Squash Center.
Trailing 2-4 through six matches, Rau’s match from the sixth seed was essential in keeping Columbia in contention. Rau and Errington earned 11-8 victories in the first and second game, respectively, leaving the match ripe for the taking. Rau toughed out a 14-12 victory in the third game before ceding the fourth to his Cornell counterpart (8-11). Through the cheers of an increasingly raucous croup, the duo battled through a series of match points before Rau snagged a 13-11 victory in one hour and 23 minutes.
Teamwork. Grit. Determination.
— Columbia Squash (@CULionsSquash) December 5, 2021
“Today was all about backing each other up. The support from my teammates was essential, having everyone cheering and coming together is so helpful,” reflected Rau immediately following the match. “I was able to focus on performing well rather than worrying about the results of other games.”
Justin Ghaeli collected Columbia’s first win of the afternoon, decisively defeating Humza Khan 3-0 (11-6, 11-4, 11-7). Teammate Adam Goad recorded a three-game win of his own, overcoming Tanay Punjabi 3-0 from the fifth spot. Goad only improved over the course of competition, winning the first game 11-7 before capturing the second 11-4 and third 11-3.
On the main court, second-seeded James Wyatt came away with a hard-fought victory over Cornell’s Spencer Yager (3-2). Wyatt grabbed the first game 11-7 before dropping the second 7-11. The senior refused to forfeit momentum, grabbing the third set 12-10. Yager forced a fifth game with an 11-9 victory in the fourth set, but was unable to conquer the Columbian. Wyatt won with an 11-6 final game.
From the top spot, Callan Hall took one game away from Veer Chotrani in a 1-3 match-deciding loss.
Columbia travels to Williams next week for a 3:00 p.m. contest against the Ephs on Dec. 11.
#9 Cornell 5, #6 Columbia 4
(1) Veer Chotrani (CORN) def. Callan Hall (COL) 3-1 (11-4, 9-11, 11-7, 11-7)
(2) James Wyatt (COL) def. Spencer Yager (CORN) 3-2 (11-7, 7-11, 12-10, 9-11, 11-6)
(3) Arnaav Sareen (CORN) def. Harold Castiaux (COL) 3-0 (11-7, 11-6, 11-2)
(4) Charles Culhane (CORN) def. Chaitanya Shah (COL) 3-1 (11-8, 9-11, 11-5, 11-5)
(5) Adam Goad (COL) def. Tanay Punjabi (CORN) 3-0 (11-7, 11-4, 11-3)
(6) Rutvik Rau (COL) def. Nicholas Goth Errington (CORN) 3-2 (8-11, 11-8, 14-12, 8-11, 13-11)
(7) Nicholas Robinson (CORN) def. Ryan Chen (COL) 3-1 (8-11, 11-9, 11-2, 11-8)
(8) Justin Ghaeli (COL) def. Humza Khan (CORN) 3-0 (11-6, 11-4, 11-7)
(9) Rohan Iyer (CORN) def. Jacob Bulbulia (COL) 3-0 (12-10, 11-5, 11-8)