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Men's Squash | Tufts falls in early rounds of conference tournament

Published: Monday, February 3, 2014

Updated: Monday, February 3, 2014 08:02

The men’s squash team played four matches in as many days this week, losing to cross-town rival Boston College before playing in the NESCAC Championship. 

With the disappointing loss to BC on their minds, Tufts entered the NESCAC Championships eager to compete. In the consolation round on Saturday, the team faced first-round loser Connecticut College. 

In the second time the two teams competed this week, history repeated itself as the Jumbos fell again to the Camels. Despite the loss, the team felt that they might have had an edge going into the first-round consolation match.

“Last week we played them at Conn. [College] and they have really funky courts there so we thought we had an advantage today, but they came out very competitive,” junior co-captain Elliot Kardon said.

Sophomore Aditya Advani and junior co-captain Zach Schweitzer pulled out wins at No. 1 and No. 2 singles. Both players had also won their matches against Conn. during last week’s match, and aimed to do better this time around.

“I won in five against Conn. last week, and Aditya [Advani] won in four. This weekend I won in four and Aditya in three, so I would definitely say that a one-fifth and one-fourth game differential improvement is something to be proud of,” Schweitzer said.

After their loss to Conn., the team was set to play 24th ranked Hamilton, a school they hadn’t played all season. 

Once again No. 1 Advani and No. 2 Schweitzer were the only Jumbos to win their matches. Advani won in a long and competitive five game match, where he lost the first two games before he came back to win the last three.

“I was able to regain my composure after losing the first two and once I was comfortable playing again, it became a lot easier for me to control the game and take it from there,” Advani said. “It was a very good match and I am glad that I was able to pull through.”

Schweitzer won a grueling four game match, after decisively winning the first game, losing the second 11-6 and taking the match 11-3, 6-11, 11-7, 11-9.

“I was pretty beat, but all of the intense fitness sessions I did whilst abroad last semester really came in handy when my back was against the wall,” Schweitzer said. “Ten or 15 more errors and the match could’ve gone either way, to be honest.”

In the first round of the NESCAC Championship on Friday, Tufts drew Bowdoin, a school they had competed against in late November. Bowdoin, ranked 21st nationally and seeded sixth at the tournament, was too strong of a first round opponent.

“Bowdoin is a very strong team, the winters in Maine really toughen up those kids, and it really showed out there on the court,” Schweitzer said.

Though Bowdoin lived up to expectations, freshman Josh Lee forced the closest match of the day as he won 31 points across four games, but ended up falling 11-3, 10-12, 11-8, 11-8. 

After their 9-0 loss to Bowdoin in November, Tufts had believed they could pull out a few wins this time around — but Bowdoin proved to be too talented.

“Bowdoin is a great team,” Advani said. “Honestly, I went into the match thinking that Zach [Schweitzer] and I could pull off the wins in our matches but their team has improved tremendously. They played some great squash and we were just not able to play at the same level that they were playing at.”

Next up for the men’s squash team are matches against two other local rivals, MIT and Northeastern. In late November when multiple Tufts players were studying abroad, Tufts lost to both MIT and Northeastern 6-3.

“Now we have players that weren’t here in the fall we hope to do better,” Kardon said. “Historically we have had close matches with MIT, but it was the first time since I’ve been here that we’ve lost to them. We are going to rest up and are going to try to get mentally prepared for these matches.”

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