Men's Squash | Men’s squash wins two matches in opening weekend
Published: Tuesday, January 21, 2014
Updated: Tuesday, January 21, 2014 08:01
After a month and a half off the courts the Tufts men’s squash team returned to competition this weekend.
Over the break the Jumbos continued exercising and practicing on their own in order to stay fit and prepare for their return.
“While we all had restful breaks, Coach [Joe McManus] urged us to play every day and do fitness a few times during the week,” freshman Danny Fischer said. “We also had [an] early return and resumed practice three days before school started. It consisted of shot practice, game play and fitness.”
A few key players returned to the team after studying abroad in the fall. Among them were junior captains Zachary Schweitzer and Elliot Kardon, along with classmate Hugo Meggitt, who usually play three, four and six singles, respectively.
“It was great having players return. [It] helped us win some big matches this weekend,” Meggitt said.
During the fall the Jumbos struggled against tough competition without their full lineup.
“The juniors came back to the team and strengthened the lineup,” Fischer said. “One of the juniors, Zach ... definitely raised team morale. Now that we have our full team, [we’re] feeling much more confident.”
The Jumbos were able to sandwich a 9-0 loss against 15th-ranked Drexel between two convincing 6-3 wins against Denison and Haverford over the holiday weekend.
On Sunday, the team had its best match of the weekend against Haverford, winning seven of the 10 matches — the first six in a row — to secure the victory. The Jumbos’ top players were dominant, with freshman Josh Lee, sophomore Aditya Advani, Schweitzer and Kardon all winning in straight sets.
Advani played No. 1 singles, and his performance proved why he is the Jumbos on-court leader. After one quick set, Advani held back a mid-match resurgence from Haverford freshman Aaron Horwtiz and closed out the match with an 11-3, 11-7, 11-0 win for the Jumbos.
At No. 2 singles, Schweitzer also won in straight sets, 11-8, 11-7, 11-5.
Lee and Kardon played at the No. 3 and No. 4 positions. This time they took down both of their opponents, losing only a combined 14 points between the two of them in the whole match.
The closest match against Haverford was between Tufts senior Jeremy Aronson and Haverford’s senior John Cummings. Aronson won the first set 11-4, but lost the next three to lose the match 4-11, 11-6, 11-3, 11-7.
Tufts was also successful in their first match back from break, handing Denison University a 6-3 loss on Saturday.
Again, the top players for the Jumbos led the way, with Tufts securing the first five matches. However, the wins did not come easily, with Schweitzer, Kardon and sophomore Brandon Weiss all having their matches go past three games.
“Denison was a really big win. We rose to the challenge in that match and pulled off a big upset,” Meggitt said.
Tufts could not channel the momentum from their victory over Denison into their game against the 15th-ranked Drexel later that day. However, though Tufts lost 9-0, there were still several close matches.
Advani played No. 1 singles again. After a tight first game that almost saw him take the lead, Advani lost two close final games and fell to Drexel freshman Michael Thompson 11-9, 11-6, 11-4.
Schweitzer played No. 2 singles and, while he was able to pick up a few points in every game, he lost 11-3, 11-3, 11-2.
Kardon had the closest match of the day, going toe-to-toe in the first game with his opponent, but losing by two points. Kardon picked up his play and took the second game quickly. In the third game, Kardon once again lost by a small margin before losing the last game and the match 11-13, 11-2, 11-9, 11-6.
Lee played third singles and while he was able to score a few points throughout the match, he eventually also lost 11-5, 11-4, 11-1.
Ultimately, Drexel proved to be too tough of an opponent for the Jumbos.
“We all tried our best, but in the end, the quality of their team was too great,” Fischer said.
Next up for the Jumbos is a match against 53rd-ranked Vassar. The Jumbos will head to Poughkeepsie, N.Y. on Friday.
“With our co-captain and strong number six player returning, our team is stronger than [in] the fall,” Fischer said. “We are playing with confidence now, and we need to use that confidence to beat Vassar.”