Men's Squash Finishes Fifth at NESCACs; Women Struggle for Seventh Place Finish
Issue   |   Wed, 02/08/2012 - 01:08

While an 8-1 loss to No. 12 Middlebury evoked shades of a similarly feeble performance earlier in the season, the men’s squash team managed to put together a solid weekend of play, finishing 3-1 and earning fifth place at the NESCAC Championships.

The most resounding highlight of the tournament came Friday night in the form of an 8-1 thrashing of Tufts. In that game, seven Jeffs won 3-0. The day’s most scintillating match came at the number one slot, where Scott DeSantis ’15 came from behind to beat the Jumbos’ Alex Nalle, 3-2. After dropping the first game, 11-7, DeSantis won the next two. Nalle responded with an 11-1 victory in the fourth, but DeSantis was able to take the clinching frame, 11-9.

The matchup against Midd. came the following day, and it proved to be a forgettable one for the Jeffs. Rookie Alex Southmayd ’15 delivered the lone bright spot at No. 8, defeating the Panthers’ Reed Palmer in three straight 11-5 sets. DeSantis, along with Rodrigo Miranda ’12 and Matt Arnold ’12, was able to take his opponent to five sets before losing, 3-2.

The Jeffs faced their next test against Conn. College, whom they had already beaten once by a convincing 8-1 score. Though it was not quite as easy this time around, the result was the same, with the Jeffs coming out on top, 6-3. Scoring shutouts for the Jeffs were co-captain Steve Severson ’12, David Kerr ’14 and Southmayd.

In the final match of the tournament, the Jeffs found similar success in a rematch against Wesleyan. In impressive fashion, Southmayd notched his fourth shutout of the weekend, while Severson and Arnold also blanked their Cardinal counterparts. In the end, the Jeffs earned a 6-3 victory, the same margin by which they had beaten Wesleyan the previous weekend. The 3-1 stretch pushes the Jeffs to 11-7 and marks the first time in the season that they have been four games over .500. They will now enjoy a week off before traveling to Princeton for the CSA Team Championships Feb. 17-19.

The women’s squash team were also in Hartford for the NESCAC Championships, where they experienced mixed results, finishing the tournament 2-2 and placing seventh. They began the weekend on the right foot with a shutout of Tufts, a game in which eight of nine Jeffs recorded sweeps. Chandler Lusardi ’13 lost her first game but battled back for a 3-1 victory, joining the rest of her teammates in the win column.

Williams was the next team to stand in the Lady Jeffs’ way; the Ephs had dominated in the season’s first meeting between the two and were able to do so again. Overmatched, the Lady Jeffs lost seven of nine matches in three games. The game’s best performances came from Mary Katherine McNeill ’13 and Kate Savage ’12, each of whom managed to take one of four games.

Looking for a reversal of fortune against No. 18 Bowdoin, the 16th-ranked Jeffs again came up short in a dissapointing 6-3 loss. Two Jeffs — Arielle Lehman ’15 and Savage — lost by a 3-2 score. No. 9 Ginny Wheeler ’13 provided Amherst’s only shutout victory of the match.

After dropping a game to a lower-ranked opponent, the Lady Jeffs salvaged some measure of consolation by defeating Wesleyan, 6-3, in their last game of the tournament. Wheeler delivered her second shutout of the weekend, taking three straight from the Cardinals. Lehman lost her first game of the day but took her last three for a comeback victory over Annie Maxwell. At No. 1, Lusardi also scored a key 3-2 win, and tri-captain Savage (No. 3) clinched the game with a gritty 3-1 win.

The Lady Jeffs, who are now 10-9 on the year, will wait two weeks before heading to Harvard for the CSA Team Championships.

Kristin Ouellette (not verified) says:
Sun, 02/12/2012 - 23:38

It sounds like neither team had a glory-filled weekend. Why was the women's loss a "struggle?" 7th place is not much worse than 5th.