Men’s squash goes 2-2, women blank the Big Red

In an up and down week, men’s squash split their four matches, first suffering a disappointing loss to perennial rival Dartmouth on Wednesday.

The team then came back with strong wins against Hobart and Hamilton before falling to a powerful Cornell squad.

With the Cornell match behind them, the team will recover from a hectic stretch of nine matches in 12 days, only one of which was at home, before turning their attention to an important visit to Philadelphia to take on the Penn Quakers.

The week began with a three-hour trip to Hanover for a matchup with Dartmouth, the squad that beat the Ephs in last year’s championship for the fifth ranking nationally.

Splitting time on the poorly heated courts with the women’s match, the Ephs jumped out to an early lead.

While Scott Pierce ’05 fell at six, Dan Bishop ’04 provided a key win at three.

Playing against Dartmouth’s talented Andrei Prokopiw, Bishop knew that he was going to face a steep challenge.

Bishop was motivated by the memories of his loss three days ago and came back to play the best squash of his career.

He won a decisive second game 9-3 and then, after losing the third 2-9, came back to win 9-6 and 9-4 to pull out a defining win.

“Personally, I was very excited with the way I played,” Bishop said. “Andrei is an excellent number three and beating him is a huge confidence boost for myself and the team going into this weekend.”

However, the Ephs could not maintain their early momentum.

While Max Monteglas ’03 crushed Dartmouth’s Jesse Nisselson in a swift three games, the rest of team was unable to pull out two more wins, and the Big Green ultimately took the match 6-3.

With little time to rest, the team departed again on Friday for a trio of matches in western New York.

Playing at Hobart, the team warmed up with a match against Hamilton College. Traditionally a weaker team, the Continentals were no match for the Ephs on this day, as every player on the team won in three games.

After a brief rest and a chance to witness the women’ romp over William Smith, the Ephs took a much stronger Hobart squad.

Playing at Hobart for first time in many years, the Ephs faced a team that believed they could pull the upset in front of an energetic home crowd.

However, much to the chagrin of a few shirtless Hobart fans, the Ephs overwhelmed the home team throughout most of the lineup.

The bottom three for the Ephs, Charlie Giammattei ’05, Ted Unger ’06 and Brad Uy ’03 all proved to be not only stronger players than their Hobart counterparts, but also in much better physical condition.

All three dominated the pace of play, running their opponents out of breath and energy as they cruised to easy victories.

On Saturday, though, the Ephs were brought back to reality when they ran into a menacing Cornell team.

Featuring freshman at their top three slots and five in the starting lineup, the Big Red controlled all of the matches, winning 9-0.

One highlight the Ephs can take from the match was the improved movement of Captain Parth Doshi ’03, who seemed to play with less pain in his five-game match against Mathew Serediak.

Now ranked 11th in the latest rankings, the Ephs will travel to Philadelphia on Thursday to match up against an improved Penn squad.

The match will go far in determining where the Ephs enter the season-ending tournament.

Women shut out Cornell

Women’s squash thoroughly defeated Cornell, an Ivy League foe, by a convincing score of 9-0.

The Big Red never really stood a chance against the near-perfect performance by the Ephwomen. Adrienne Ellman ’03 defeated the Big Red’s top player, Brooke Stetson, with a combination of powerful serves and precisely placed drop-shots.

Lizzie Reifenheiser ’06 shut out her opponent Stephanie Tsay in three commanding games. The team is always happy to get strong production from their frosh.

The Ephwomen head to Philadelphia where they will take on University of Pennsylvania before tackling Constable at Princeton.