Squash Teams Smack Bowdoin, Hamilton, and Tufts
By Karan Bains '14, Sports Section Editor
The Amherst squash teams have endured some tough spots in their schedules, but after a demanding interterm, the program looks to be in prime shape as the matches continue.

Both teams hit a bump in the road when Brown University came to Amherst on January 18 and gave the Jeffs a rude awakening. The men’s squad suffered a 0-9 loss, while the women fared slightly better with a 2-7 result. Yet, instead of allowing the defeat to linger, the Jeffs went right back to work and have been on a roll since losing to the Bears.

The men traveled to Yale University to match up against Bowdoin College as they attempted to rebound from the Brown loss, and came through with a 6-3 victory. “Bowdoin was really a great win for us. It boosted our team’s confidence at a key point in the season, and is giving us solid momentum moving into some big weekends ahead,” co-captain Tom Rapisarda ’11 said.

The Jeffs continued to build on that momentum throughout the weekend, following up the Bowdoin win with a pair of 9-0 victories against NESCAC foes Hamilton and Tufts last Saturday. Co-captain Kevin Cecala ’11 praised his team for putting out three “pretty good performances” over the weekend. Rapisarda “The team played well all the way through and it showed in the results.”

Players said the Bowdoin win was a turning point in the season. “Confidence in the team is picking up and people are realizing how competitive we are with some of the best teams in the country,” as a result of that victory, Rapisarda said. “We always knew we had great talent on the team, but translating that into match play recently has been a key factor in our success.”

The women’s squad faced the same three teams after their own disappointment against Brown, and matched the men’s 3-0 week. In fact, the Lady Jeffs overwhelmed Bowdoin by a score of 8-1, and blew away Hamilton and Tufts by a 9-0 margin. Co-captain Allie Dalglish ’11 did not take these easy wins for granted. “These wins were especially exciting for me since, over my four years at Amherst, Hamilton and Tufts have always been close, high intensity matches. It was so rewarding to watch our team beat them convincingly this year,” she said.

Dalglish added that beating Williams for the first time in several years is one of the team’s primary goals as the season goes on, and the possibility is certainly in play. With a new coach, Peter Robson, the Lady Jeffs have dedicated themselves to fitness and the results are showing. “As a result [of our fitness],” Dalglish said, “we often outrun our opponents, which is a huge part of our success.”

The women, currently ranked number 12 in the nation by the College Squash Association, have the top ten in their sights if they keep up their recent hot streak. While the men are a bit behind with a ranking of 19th in the country, they can also look to build on their success and go up the ladder. Beating Bowdoin, ranked 18th, was a step in the right direction. Both teams take on Wesleyan and Williams this Saturday, and the Lady Jeffs also take the short trip to Mount Holyoke to play the Lyons on Tuesday.

Issue 12, Submitted 2011-01-26 22:51:53