On Nov. 30, both Amherst squash teams made short work of Vassar and began their seasons in strong fashion.
The men’s team won every game of the match by at least four points, an accomplishment underscored by the outstanding play of its freshmen. Scott DeSantis ’15 played at the top of the lineup, while Max Kardon ’15, the Jeffs’ number seven, shut out his opponent in two of his three games. Number two David Kerr ’14 did the same, and co-captain Steve Severson ’12 (number six) also earned an 11-0 game.
On paper, the Lady Jeffs were expecting a tougher matchup: the Vassar women’s team entered the contest ranked 22nd to Amherst’s 19th. Still, the Amherst women disposed of their opponents with almost as much ease as the men.
Like DeSantis, Arielle Lehman ’15 earned her first collegiate victory at number one, winning 3-1 in games over Vassar’s Libby Pei. The rest of the Jeffs won in three sets, highlighted by sophomore Lena Rice’s decisive victories of 11-3, 11-6 and 11-2 at number six.
The Jeffs could not carry their success into the weekend, however, as both Amherst squash teams were overmatched by Harvard, whose men’s and women’s teams are fifth and first-ranked, respectively.
On the men’s side, the Jeffs dropped their 48th consecutive match to the Crimson, losing all but one game over the course of the day.
That lone win came from number nine Peter Mack ’15, who beat Harvard’s Shaw McKean 12-10 in the match’s opening game.
Now, having both shut out an opponent (Vassar, 9-0) and been shut out themselves, the Jeffs fall to 1-1.
They will have the whole week to prepare for Saturday’s home-openers against MIT and Northeastern, which promise to be far more competitive.
The Amherst women fared slightly better against the top team in the nation. In Harvard’s 10th consecutive win over the Lady Jeffs, they again took 27 of 28 games.
This time, Rice provided the lone bright spot at six, beating Harvard’s Vidya Rajan 11-9 in her first game.
The women’s team, too, is now 1-1 on the season, having also shut out Vassar last week. The women travel to Smith Wednesday before hosting Northeastern.
Both the women’s and men’s teams look to head into the holidays with a pair of wins under their belts.
Despite the weekend’s setback, both teams are stacked with potential, and will look to rely particularly in the contributions of the younger players in the coming weeks.