Squash Squads Seek to Impress in Upcoming Tournaments
By Brian Kim '12, Managing Sports Editor
As 2009 wound down and students began heading back home, the Amherst College men’s and women’s squash teams began to get ready for what may be one of the most important stretches of time in their schedule. With many of their matches coming during the break, the teams set out to start the new year on a positive note. The men’s team performed about on par with expectations while the women’s team had a more successful break, ending with a record of 8-5 on the season.


The men’s squash team kicked off Interterm with an overpowering victory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The Jeffs only lost one game and swept MIT to improve to 3-0 on the season. Sophomore Steven Severson beat his MIT counterpart 3-1, dropping the second game narrowly but taking the match. Besides this match, though, the Jeffs were nearly flawless, crushing their opponents to cruise to a 9-0 victory.

The Jeffs then took their game to Middlebury College, where they suffered a heartbreaking loss to the Panthers. Middlebury quickly took the lead, winning the first three out of four games. Senior co-captain Lee Banta provided the only win in the first group of games, taking a hard-fought five-game match. Though the Jeffs took the three out of the next five, losses in the number one and five spots sent them to their first loss of the season. In the number three spot, junior Brian Warner delivered a come-from-behind win, storming back after dropping the first two games to take the match. Sophomore Todd Lavine and senior Saahil Sud provided the other two wins for the Jeffs.

Amherst next faced a pair of tough home games. The first of these was eight-ranked University of Pennsylvania. The Jeffs lost all of their matches, with only junior Kevin Cecala and sophomore Tom Rapisarda taking their matches to four games. Dartmouth came to Amherst, next, beating the Jeffs with a score of 8-1. Warner won the lone match for the Jeffs, taking the number three match in a four set effort.

The Jeffs next traveled to Brown University, continuing the stretch of matches against top-ranked schools. Amherst once again lost by a score of 8-1 and Warner was again responsible for putting the Jeffs on the scoreboard while improving his individual record to 5-1.

The Jeffs continued their losing streak, suffering disappointing loss to Franklin & Marshall College at the 2010 Smith/Mt. Holyoke Invitational. Lavine and Banta were the only Jeffs to win their matches as Amherst dropped the first match at the Invitational 7-2. The Jeffs were able to turn their fortunes around in the next day of the Invitational though, winning both of them with scores of 5-4 and 8-1 against Colby and Hobart-William Smith. Continuing Invitational play the next day, the Jeffs managed to finish Interterm strong with two more wins, both with scores of 7-2 against Hamilton and Connecticut Colleges.

The Jeffs next have the Little Three Championship and the NESCAC Tournament to look forward to. “We are looking for redemption against Middlebury at NESCAC in two weeks as well as a win against Bowdoin College and Bates College to advance our national ranking,” said Head Coach Peter Robson. “If we beat Middlebury and Bowdoin it would move us back up into the top 15 for nationals. Hopefully we will have a healthy Andrew Kriete back in the line up by NESCAC that will strengthen our line-up considerably.”


The women’s squash team got off to a slow start in the new year, dropping the first five matches. The Jeffs suffered their first defeat of the season at the hands of Middlebury in their first game of 2010. Junior Hayley Milbourn and first-year Chandler Lusardi in the one and two spots provided the only two wins for the Jeffs as they fell 7-2. The Jeffs next hosted Mt. Holyoke, losing to the Lyons by the same score of 7-2. Just like the men, the women’s squash team next faced the tough trio of Pennsylvania, Dartmouth and Brown, dropping matches to each of them with the score of 9-0.

The women’s squash team fared better than the men did against Franklin & Marshall in the Smith/Mt. Holyoke Invitational defeating the Diplomats 7-2 on the first day. Lusardi, sophomore Anna Scheidt, first-year Anne Piper and junior Caitlin Demkin all earned 3-0 victories while junior co-captain Allie Dalglish, sophomore Kate Savage and first-year Mary Katherine McNeill had 3-1 victories.

The next few days of the Invitational went similarly, as the Jeffs defeated both Colby and Hobart-William Smith on the second day and taking down Hamilton and Connecticut on the third day to go 5-0 in the Invitational for the second straight year.

Interterm might be over, but it’s not the end for the women’s squash team. As Head Coach Thomas Carmean put it, “It served to ready us for the next phase of the season (NESCAC Championships and Howe Cup) as well provided a great time for the team to come together. Moving into the 14th spot in the rankings was great, but definitely not the end of the road. I know that this team can continue to climb and challenge the teams ranked just above us.” The Jeffs next face Wesleyan in the Little Three.

Issue 12, Submitted 2010-01-27 02:18:30