Men’s Squash Falls Short
By Brian Kim '12, Senior Writer
The men’s squash team took their game to Yale University last weekend for the CSA Team National Championships, where they placed 18th overall. Despite a hard-fought weekend, the Jeffs were unable to move up to the 17th ranking that they hoped to achieve, losing to Middlebury College in the last team match of the season.

The 18th-ranked Jeffs took on the 23rd-ranked Colby College in their first match of the Championships, overtaking the Mules 6-3. The Jeffs dropped the top three matches, but the bottom two-thirds of the lineup was dominant, winning all six of the matches with sweeps. Amherst next took on 19th-ranked Tufts University the following day. The match was a thriller, coming down to the number nine match in which sophomore Zach Porges toughed out a gritty five game win to give the Jeffs the 5-4 win.

The Jeffs then faced 17th-ranked Middlebury, losing the finale 5-4 in a heartbreaking match. In particular, sophomore Matt Arnold showed the effort that the Jeffs put into the final team match of the season. Down 10-8 in the fifth game on match ball, Arnold dove not once, but twice, for balls and made perfect lobs, allowing him to win the point and, eventually, the match. Said senior co-captain Lee Banta of Arnold’s performance, “[It was] a remarkable feat of mental and physical endurance that made the disappointing loss bearable.” The loss meant that the Jeffs were unable to move up in the rankings, finishing 18th after coming into the Championships as the 18th seed. The Jeffs finished the season with a 12-9 record.

Overall, the season was part of a progression for the men’s squash team. “We’re a young team and we definitely felt the losses of last year’s graduating class,” said senior co-captain Nick Kramer. “We are, I believe, nonetheless a talented team that just needs some more work, experience and dedication to get everyone playing up to the level they are capable of.”

Banta also provided a little insight into the future of the men’s squash team. “The team is only losing one player from the top 10, so next year looks promising. There are good things in the works,” said Banta. And as for the immediate future? “Following Tiger Woods’ lead, the non-graduating members of the men’s team will go on a Buddhist retreat to improve on their self-control,” Banta said. “Conversely the graduating members will go on a brief hedonistic bender before settling into the workforce.”

Issue 16, Submitted 2010-02-24 15:12:29