Men’s Squash Starts Season With Upset of Western Ontario
Issue   |   Wed, 12/02/2015 - 00:35
Rob Mattson
Noah Browne ’16 returns in the No. 1 spot for Amherst.

Men’s squash, ranked 23rd nationally entering the season, kicked off a promising 2015-16 campaign on Friday, Nov. 20 when they hosted no. 19 Western Ontario. This matchup presented an opportunity for a minor upset and a statement to Amherst’s foes in the NESCAC and beyond that they were poised to make some noise this year.

Amherst came out on top 6-3, with key victories from faces new and old. Senior captain and returning First Team All-NESCAC selection Noah Browne collected a default victory at the No. 1 position, while Cameron Bahadori ’18 bounced back impressively from a 6-11 loss in his first set to win the next three 11-6, 11-3, 11-8 for a 3-1 victory at No. 2.

The key win earned Bahadori a nod as NESCAC co-player of the week. Peter Woolverton ’17 provided the dagger for Amherst in a 3-1 (8-11, 11-5, 11-5, 11-0) win on the No. 9 court.

The young Amherst team saw important contributions from a handful of newcomers in their first collegiate action. Lucas Sheiner ’19, playing in the No. 6 position, recorded a 3-2 triumph in a grueling five-set match. After going up two sets to none, Sheiner lost consecutive sets 9-11, 9-11, only to flip the script for an 11-7 victory in the match’s decisive fifth set. Harith Khawaja ’19, debuting on the 5th court, secured a dominant 3-1 win (11-3, 10-12, 11-5, 11-3). First-year David Merkel got in on the fun as well with a Bahadori-esque comeback. After falling 3-11 in the first set, Merkel grinded his way through three close sets 12-10, 11-9, 12-10 for a 3-1 win and a spectacular debut at the No. 3 position.

Western Ontario, playing in what was already their 12th match of the season, including a November tournament, actually won 5 out of 8 opening sets (excluding the default at No. 1), but simply could not keep up with Amherst late in matches.

The purple and white will see their next action on Saturday, Dec. 5 when they collide with MIT in Cambridge, their last matchup of 2015.

After breaking for the holidays, Amherst will pick action back up with a slate of NESCAC matchups including a meeting with Hamilton on Friday, Jan. 15 at 3 p.m. and a doubleheader against Connecticut College and Colby on Saturday, Jan. 16 at 1 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. respectively.

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