Squash Teams Go 2-2 At NESCACs
Issue   |   Tue, 02/04/2014 - 21:58

Men

The Amherst men’s squash team traveled to Hamilton this past weekend to compete in the annual NESCAC Championships. The team was seeded seventh out of eleven teams, and justified their seed by placing seventh overall.

The Jeffs opened up play on Friday, Jan. 31 with a first round 7-2 victory over Conn. College, just as they did in the 2013 NESCAC Championship.

Despite missing their no. 6 player, junior Max Kardon, for the duration of the weekend, and thus having to shift up the bottom of the lineup, the top six spots on the roster still managed to earn six of the Jeffs’ seven victories in the match. Noah Browne ’16 continued his dominance at the top spot, sweeping his opponent easily by a score of 11-3, 11-6, 11-9.

On the no. 2 court, Scott DeSantis ’15 also had a solid win for the Jeffs. The junior narrowly edged out a victory in the first game,14-12, before handing John Sluder of Conn. College resounding 11-3 and 11-4 losses in the following two games to win 3-0.
Senior captain David Kerr earned the a 3-1 victory in the no. 3 spot, while Alex Southmayd ’15, Michael Groot ’17 and Darian Ehsani ’17 all battled in come from behind victories in the fourth through sixth spots, respectively.

The Jeffs faltered a bit in the seventh and eighth positions, as Jeremy Van ’17 and Rodrigo Quan Miranda ’14 both lost hard-fought matches in five games.

Playing in the no. 9 spot, Thornton Ellis ’16 also earned a victory to help send the Camels to the consolation bracket.

The next day, the Jeffs faced second-seeded Bates and were swept by the Bobcats, 9-0. This loss eliminated the team from contention for a NESCAC title.

Notably, Groot’s match went to five games as the first-year put up a respectable fight against his junior opponent, Andy Cannon. The final score of the match was 11-8, 5-11, 11-5, 10-12, 11-4.

Later that afternoon, the Jeffs faced sixth-seeded Bowdoin in hopes of bettering their initial seed, but the team suffered a heartbreaking 5-4 loss.

Browne was able to earn a 3-2 victory in the first position in an exciting, closely contended match where no game was won by more than five points.

The top of the lineup remained reliable for the Jeffs, as they had victories in the no. 2, no. 3 and no. 4 spots as well with DeSantis, Kerr and Southmayd all edging their opponents, respectively.

DeSantis had a close match, defeating his opponent in four tight games, 12-10, 9-11, 11-8, 11-7.

Kerr swept his opponent, 11-4, 11-8, 11-8 in the no. 3 spot, while Southmayd needed five highly contested games to defeat his opponent, 7-11, 11-9, 11-9, 7-11, 11-9.

It was not enough to earn the overall win, however, as the Polar Bears battled in the five through nine slots to earn the victory, 5-4.

Amherst finished up play on Sunday, Feb. 2 by handing eighth-seeded Colby a 6-3 loss.

Browne wrapped up an impressive weekend with a comeback 3-2 victory over CJ Smith. The sophomore dropped the first two games 8-11, before coming back to win the match 8-11, 8-11, 11-8, 11-4, 11-6.

DeSantis also went to five games, as he dropped the competitive first game, 10-12, before battling back to claim the second game 11-8. In the third game, DeSantis only managed to score a single point, but bounced back to win the fourth and fifth game 11-5, 11-7, respectively.

Kerr won the third slot handily, sweeping Yuga Koda 3-0, by a score of 11-9, 11-5, 11-9.

Southmayd’s contest in the no. 4 spot also went the distance to five games. The captain was up the first two games, 11-7, 12-10, but dropped the next two games, 5-11, 6-11. He prevailed in the fifth with a 11-6 victory.

Groot rallied from behind to defeat his senior opponent 3-1 in the no. 5 position by a score of 7-11, 13-11, 11-8, 11-9.

Quan Miranda also went five sets in the No. 8 spot to defeat Steve Caroll, 3-2, by a score of 11-9, 5-11, 11-7, 9-11, 11-3.

Ranked 22nd in the nation, the Jeffs look to refocus in order to prepare for the CSA Team Championships in two weeks.

The Trinity College Bantams defeated Williams in the championship match to take the NESCAC Championship title for the eighth straight year.

This weekend, Amherst will take its top four players to play in the Div. III Individual Invitational at Bowdoin.

Women

The Amherst women’s squash team went in seeded sixth and finished sixth in the conference at the NESCAC Championship at Hamilton last weekend.

The Jeffs opened the weekend with a dominating 8-1 win over 11th-seeded Conn. College, as all Jeffs except Ericka Robertson ’16, in the no. 1 spot, were victorious.

Notably, Corri Johnson ’16 had an excellent match, allowing her opponent barely any points, winning by a score of 11-2, 11-0, 11-1.

The next day, the Jeffs squared up against archrival Williams, seeded third. The team fought hard in all their matches, but ended up falling to the Ephs, 2-7.

Sophomores Khushy Aggarwal and Taryn Clary were the only two Jeffs to win their matches. In the no. 6 spot, Aggarwal triumphed in a five game match, 6-11, 11-7, 6-11, 13-11, 11-8, while Clary won in the no. 7 spot, 5-11, 11-3, 11-9, 11-4.

At the no. 9 spot, captain Lena Rice ’14 almost secured a third victory for the Jeffs as she jumped out to a two game lead, winning the first games by a score of 11-6, 11-6. However, the senior then lost the following three games 11-5, 11-4, 11-4.

Meyha Sud ’16 also had a highly contested match in the no. 3 spot. Though the sophomore lost in three games, the game score does not reflect the intensity of the match, particularly the first game, which finished 18-16. Sud lost the second game by a score of 11-5 and the third by a score of 12-10.

Later that day, Amherst faced seventh-seeded Bowdoin in the consolation round. Many of the matches went to four or five games, with the Jeffs prevailing to defeat the Polar Bears, 5-4.

Sud, Evelyn Kramer ’14, Clary, Johnson, and Rice, all earned wins for the women.

At the no. 1 spot, Robertson was up two games, 11-6, 13-11, before dropping the next three games, 11-6, 11-0, 11-6.

First-year Tiana Palmer-Poroner had a competitve match as well, losing to her opponent in four games.

The next day, the Jeffs hoped to increase their initial seeding with a win against fourth-seeded Hamilton. Amherst had the victory at its finger tips, but ultimately suffered a 5-4 heartbreak.

In the no. 1 spot, Robertson lost her match, 3-0, wrapping up a winless weekend for the sophomore. Arielle Lehman ’15 had an extremely competitive match in the no. 2 spot, winning the first game 11-8, but was unable to clinch the others, falling in the next three games, 11-8, 11-8, 11-9.

Sud brought home a victory on court three. The sophomore won the first game handily, 11-2, before playing three more tough sets against Hamilton’s Lillie Simourian. Sud pulled out a 16-14 win in the fourth game to seal the victory.

Poroner-Palmer played five closely-contested games in the no. 4 spot and was able to bring home the win, 6-11, 12-10, 11-7, 9-11, 11-9.

Clary and Rice were the other victories for the Jeffs, as Clary swept her opponent in the seventh spot and Rice defeated her opponent in four competitive games, 10-12, 11-9, 11-7, 11-8.

In need of only one more win to come out victorious in the match, the Jeffs suffered two heartbreaking losses in the no. 5 and no. 8 spots.

Kramer and Johnson both went to five games but neither were able to notch the win for their team. Co-captain Kramer jumped out to a two game lead 11-8, 11-7, but couldn’t hold on, losing the next three games to Hamilton’s Lindsay Arader, 12-10, 11-4, 11-9.

Johnson, on the other hand, was down two games, 6-11, 9-11, but battled back to win the following two games 11-8, 11-4. In the fifth and final game, the sophomore needed to stay cool under pressure but was unable to claim the victory, falling 17-15, in a marathon finale.

When asked to comment on the team’s weekend, Clary remarked, “Everyone played confident and smart squash even when we were exhausted. All the girls showered real determination, and I was proud to be on a team that fought so hard.”

The 17th-ranked women have a home match against 22nd-ranked Mount Holyoke on Feb. 5 at 6 p.m. The top four players will then travel this weekend to compete in the Div. III Individual Invitational at Bowdoin.

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