Men’s Squash Goes Winless at CSA Team Championships
Issue   |   Tue, 02/27/2018 - 21:07
Photo courtesy of Clarus Studios
David Merkel ’20 won two matches this weekend at CSA nationals.

This weekend the Amherst men’s squash team competed in the College Squash Association (CSA) Team Championships.

The Mammoths headed to Trinity to compete for the Summers Cup, the third division crown.

The tournament began for the Mammoths on Friday, Feb. 23, when No. 24 Amherst went up against No.17 Dickinson College in the opening match. Dickinson dominated the first and second positions, posting three-game victories against Terrence Wang ’21 and Robert Parker ’21, respectively. However, Harith Khawaja ’19 posed an obstacle for the Devils at the third position. Facing Dickinson’s Hal Holappa, Khawaja started strong and routed his foe, sweeping his opponent (11-5, 11-3, 11-8) to give the Mammoths what proved to be one of only two wins that day.

Khawaja was the lone bright spot on the top courts, as the Devils notched wins in the next five positions, albeit not without a fight by the Mammoths. Most notably, Chris Zimmerman ’20, on the seventh court, forced a five-game standoff that he ultimately lost.

Other highlights included the play of David Merkel ’19 and Reginald Brewster ’21, who both pushed their opponents to a fourth game at the fourth and sixth positions, respectively.

Arnav Parikh ’21 made the last stand at the ninth position against the Devils’ Zachary Hollander. Hollander hit the ground running, taking the first game 11-7. Parikh remained undeterred, though, flipping the score in his favor to win the second game, 11-7.

The third game proved to be a tight battle, ultimately ending with Parikh on top, 14-12. Hollander refused to go quietly though, taking the fourth game 11-6 to force a deciding fifth game in which Parikh rallied to take the game 11-8 and clinch the point for the Mammoths. However, despite Khawaja and Parikh’s best efforts, Dickinson prevailed, 7-2.

After falling to Dickinson, Amherst relocated to the Loomis Chafee School in Windsor, Connecticut for the remainder of the weekend, where they found themselves facing two NESCAC rivals, Williams and Colby, in the consolation bracket. Coming off of his narrow defeat in the match against Dickinson, Merkel enjoyed a successful rest of the weekend, securing Amherst’s sole win against the Ephs amidst the Mammoths’ 1-8 defeat Saturday afternoon in a tight, five-game triumph (11-9, 11-13, 14-12, 12-14, 11-6).

He also claimed a win in the Sunday match against Colby, who claimed the overall win, 6-3.

Other successes in the Sunday match came from Wang on court one and Khawaja on court three, the latter of whom swept his opponent in three games (11-8, 11-6, 11-3).

With that, Amherst’s concluded the team portion of its season, but Wang and Parker qualified to compete for individual accolades in the CSA Individual Championships at George Washington University next weekend, beginning on Friday, March 2.