Men’s squash optimistic for season

The Williams mens’ squash team had a productive weekend at Yale, participating in the United States Squash Racquet Association’s Five Man Team tournament, which kicked off the first week of its intercollegiate schedule. Divided into two groups of five, tournament competition included squads from schools like Harvard, Yale and Princeton as well as from various cities including New York, Chicago and Atlanta.

Williams’ first five man team was quite successful on the weekend, winning its first round match 4-1 over a scrappy Rhode Island squad, as Max Montgelas ’03 and Parth Doji ’03 were victorious in their first contests for Williams.

The second round matched Williams against the third-seeded Atlanta squad, and Williams was unable to pull off the upset, falling in a tight 3-2 contest.

Chatchawin Tanjaitrong ’02 played wonderful squash, controlling the points with excellent depth and carefully placed drop shots, while Zafrir Levy ’01 performed brilliantly, eventually falling in a brutal five-game match.

The squad bounced back on Saturday afternoon to defeat Yale 3-2 and reach the consolation match to determine fifth and sixth in the tournament with Levy, Tanjaitrong and Doji securing the victory. Sunday morning’s match against Chicago was close but the Ephs fell 4-1, finishing sixth in the extremely competitive sixteen-team draw.

The second team of five for the Ephs had a tough draw, facing Harvard’s number one team in the first round and falling 5-0.

Chris Delaney ’01 commented on the one-sided contest, saying, “We knew the Crimson would be a tough team to beat and they showed us that they certainly deserved their number two seeding. The match was quite helpful for our team, however, as we were able to play against talented and experienced opponents.”

In the consolation round, the Ephs fared no better, falling 5-0 to the Midwest team, as Williams got off to a poor start and never recovered.

With co-captain Rob Howell ’00 unable to because of the flu, substitute superstar Andrew Weller ’01 filled in at the number five spot, falling in four games to his seemingly tireless opponent. Weller’s cat-like movements on the court were an inspiration to his teammates and set the tone for the weekend.

Unfortunately, the squad was unsuccessful in its last match as well, falling 4-1 to Princeton on Saturday afternoon. Dave Adams ’00 fought hard to win a five-game match and co-captain Jeff Roizen ’00 played patient, calculating squash in a close four-game loss.

The weekend at Yale was productive for the Williams team, as it gained valuable match experience and competition as well as considerable time on the fast and distinctive Yale courts. With three matches to be played at Yale this season as well as the National Tournament, the Ephs can hope to look back on the weekend as a important beginning to standout season.

Coach Dave Johnson commented on the tournament, “I think we accomplished all of the goals we hope to: our fitness and match-play experience improved dramatically, and yet, each player was left with several things to work on for the season. I could not be more excited about our upcoming matches and the outlook for this team.”

The Williams men play their first intercollegiate match at home against Dartmouth tomorrow at 5 p.m. in the Simon Squash Center.

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