Men's Squash | Tufts’ winning streak ends, NESCAC schedule begins
Jumbos lose four, win one in busy weekend
Published: Tuesday, December 4, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, December 4, 2012 08:12
After successfully opening up its season 4−0, the No. 29 men’s squash team failed to carry its momentum into the final weekend of play in the fall semester, going 1−4 in five matches.
The Jumbos, whose only win came against No. 33 Colgate, dropped four matches against No. 15 Bates, No. 3 Harvard, No. 17 Navy and No. 23 Wesleyan, but despite their subpar performance, they are confident that they can rekindle their previous success following the break.
“My opponents were all really good this weekend, but I still felt I made some improvements in my game nonetheless,” said freshman Aditya Advani, a top recruit for new coach Joe McManus, who went 2−2 individually for the Jumbos.
The first match of the weekend came on Friday against Bates, in which Tufts was not able to win an individual match. Advani lost his individual match in five close games at the No. 2 position while freshman Brandon Weiss was also able to keep the score close against his Bates opponent in the No. 6 spot, but in the end, the scoreboard read 9−0 in a dominant Bates victory.
“Considering my five years of squash experience, I feel like I played pretty well,” Weiss said. “It’s exciting to compete against a lot of top teams from the area, especially a NESCAC powerhouse like Bates.”
After the tough match against Bates on Friday, Tufts lost its next two matches against Harvard and Navy by scores of 9−0 and 8−1, respectively, on Saturday afternoon.
Then, after a close−fought victory against Colgate, the Jumbos were blown out again against Wesleyan 8−1 to conclude the first semester schedule.
In that match against the Cardinals, Advani was the only one to secure an individual victory, winning easily in three games at the No. 2 spot, 11−3, 11−8, 11−6.
Other notable individual matches included a heated, four−game loss by sophomore co−captain Zachary Schweitzer at No. 1 as well as an extremely tight four−game loss by junior co−captain Jeremy Ho at No. 3, whose final score read 4−11, 11−8, 10−12, 15−17.
But the Jumbos will draw hope from their lone victory on the weekend, a decisive 8−1 victory over Colgate that kept them just above .500.
“After a few tough outings, I’m glad we were able to secure [that] win against Colgate,” sophomore Elliot Kardon said. “It’s definitely a morale−booster.”
The Tufts players also believe McManus and assistant coaches Eric Lamsa and Edwin Lennox’s well−run practices have relieved pressure during matches.
“The practices have definitely been a lot of fun, while intense, too,” Advani said. “I like the coaches a lot, and over the next few months, I think everyone will continue to bond as a team and improve their games dramatically.”
Recently, the men’s team attended a Pro Squash Tour match and watched some of the world’s top players, including Australia’s David Palmer, compete on squash’s highest stage.
“It was definitely a great experience,” Weiss said. “I can’t wait for more outings in the coming months.”
Once matches resume in January, the Jumbos will look forward to more dual matches as well as a number of tournaments McManus has scheduled for the squad, which will feature matches against a number of strong NESCAC teams.
“I’m really looking forward to our match against the legendary Trinity squash program,” Kardon said. “Although we don’t stand much of a chance, it’s a huge honor to be able to play a team of that caliber. I’m also looking forward to many of our NESCAC matches because of the competitive atmosphere.”
With a long break coming up, the Jumbos will look to rest up and continue to improve before they dive deeper into NESCAC play on Jan. 19 against Conn. College.