Men’s Squash Falls to 4-8; Browne Goes 7-3 at No. 1 Spot
Issue   |   Wed, 01/29/2014 - 00:58

The Amherst men’s squash team was dealt a difficult interterm schedule, facing ten top 25 ranked teams.

For the first match of interterm, the Jeffs traveled to Middlebury to face the 18th-ranked Panthers. Their only win of that match came from the No. 1 player, sophomore Noah Browne, who defeated his opponent, Parker Hurst, in three games, 11-7, 11-9, 11-6.

Amherst returned home to host the Pioneer Valley Invitational that weekend, where they would play six matches over the course of three days.

The Jeffs started on a high note with a win over No. 25 Stanford on Jan. 17, as they swept the Cardinals 9-0.

Scott DeSantis ’15 stepped up in the No. 1 slot for Amherst and earned the 3-0 win over Peter Odrich in a competitive match, 11-9, 11-9, 14-12.

Later that day, the Jeffs faced No. 12 Columbia, where they fell 1-8. Notably, Darian Ehsani ’17 came out victorious and won his match, 3-1, by a score of 11-6, 5-11, 11-4, 11-8, in the No. 8 spot.

Max Kardon ’15 also had a great match, jumping out to a two game lead before dropping the next three games to lose his match, 2-3, by a score of 11-6, 11-5, 4-11, 8-11, 8-11.

The Jeffs split their matches the next day, as they beat Colby in morning, 8-1, before getting swept by Bates, 0-9, in the evening.

Both Browne and DeSantis dominated their Colby opponents, winning 3-0, while their teammates all dropped at least a game in their matches.

First-year Michael Groot ’17 had a remarkable comeback in the No. 5 spot, defeating Colby’s Will Hochman. After dropping the first two games both by a score 4-11, Groot fought back and was able to win the next three competitive battles by tight scores of 11-8, 11-9, and 11-8.

In the Bates match, all Jeffs lost by a score of 3-0, except for Southmayd and Jeremy Van ’17, who lost 3-1. The 13th-ranked Bobcats dominated the Jeffs, and the team hoped to bounce back on the final day of the invitational.

The team’s most impressive interterm victory came on Sunday as the underdog Jeffs edged out 20th-ranked George Washington 5-4.

Browne earned a 3-2 victory in the No. 1 position as he dug his way out of a 2-0 hole, rattling off three straight games and defeating Andres de Frutos, 5-11, 7-11, 11-7, 11-7, 11-8.

The four other victories of the day came from the six through nine spots as Kardon, Van and Stephen Cacouris ’16 all swept their opponents, 3-0, and Ehsani bested Charles Norfleet, 3-1.

Later that day, the team faced sixth-ranked Franklin & Marshall, where they lost 1-8.

Browne was sole victor for the Jeffs, as he battled Abhishek Pradhan in a highly contested five game match. Browne triumphed by a score of 6-11, 14-12, 7-11, 11-8, 11-7.

After going 3-3 over the long weekend at home, the Jeffs traveled to Brown to play the 20th-ranked bears.

Unfortunately, only Browne in the No. 1 spot and Kardon in the No. 6 spot were victorious for the Jeffs. Both had competitive matches, as Browne defeated his opponent by a score of 11-9, 11-3, 10-12, and 16-14, and Kardon won by a score of 12-10, 11-7, 12-10.

Notably, DeSantis in the No. 2 spot had a two game lead, 11-4, 11-8, before dropping the following three games to lose his match in five.

The following weekend, the Jeffs hosted the Little Three Championship, where they faced rivals Wesleyan and Williams.

In the end, Amherst lost to both teams, only winning two matches against Wesleyan and one against Williams.

Against the Cardinals, Kardon stepped up in the No. 5 spot to sweep his opponent, 3-0. Groot had an extremely competitive match in the No. 6 spot where he went the distance in five games to defeat his opponent 7-11, 11-9, 8-11, 18-16, 11-7.

Against the Ephs, Browne earned the only win for Amherst, defeating Taylor Foehl in the No. 1 spot by a score of 3-1.

Despite these loses, junior captain Southmayd is hopeful about the future for his team.

“Our biggest gains will hopefully manifest at the NESCAC Championship this weekend and the CSA Team Championships in mid-February.”

The Jeffs will face Conn. College in the first round of the NESCAC tournament at Hamilton, this Friday, Jan. 31.