Men’s squash competes at Individual Championship

The men’s squash season concluded this past weekend with Williams sending four representatives to compete in the Individual Championship at Trinity. Co-captains Parth Doshi ’03 and Max Montgelas ’03 played in the Pool Championship, made up of the top 32 players in the country, while Dan Bishop ’04 and Dave Morris ’03 competed in the Malloy Championship, consisting of the next 32 players in the country.

In the Pool Championships, Doshi, seeded 21st, and Montgelas, seeded 27th, dropped their opening round matches against excellent players. In his first match, Doshi faced off against Harvard’s James Bullock. Bullock, one of the better athletes in collegiate squash, was simply too strong for Doshi and captured a three game victory. With the defeat, Doshi entered the consolation round where he played first against Yale’s Ryan Byrnes. Doshi quickly fell down two games and then faced elimination when Byrnes had a game ball at 8-6 in the third. However, a timely boast into the nick staved off defeat and Doshi rallied to win the game 10-8, subsequently taking the last two games in less dramatic fashion to win 3-2.

The next day, Doshi again went the distance against Franklin and Marshall’s Mihir Kapoor, whom Doshi had beaten in a five-game match at last year’s individuals. Kapoor took the third and fourth games to tie the match at 2-2, but again Doshi rallied to win a tight fifth game 9-7 and advance to the semifinals. However, Trinity’s Carl Bagilo was too much for an exhausted Doshi as he won a three-game decision, ending Doshi’s illustrious career at Williams.

“I was happy with how I played,” Doshi said. “Hopefully, I will again be in the 16-through-20 range when the rankings officially come out. I made a good comeback against Ryan Byrnes, but I just didn’t have the legs against Bagilo after playing two five-game matches in two days.”

The other Eph in the Pool Championship, Montgelas, had a more difficult weekend. After winning the Malloy Championship the past two years, Montgelas was rewarded this year by being moved up and playing against the nation’s elite players. Montgelas’ first match was against Harvard’s William Broadbent, one of the nation’s best freshmen who had beaten defending champion Benardo Samper at last week’s team championship. Despite his best efforts, Montgelas dropped a three-game match and moved to the consolation round. There he had the distant pleasure of playing another Harvard player, Ziggy Whitman. Whitman, another outstanding player when he is healthy, kept Monteglas out of his rhythm all day and took a three-game victory.

In the Malloy Championships, Bishop suffered from some quirks in the scheduling. Forced to play his first match at 8:30 on Friday morning, Bishop never found his game, falling to Cornell’s Mike Delany. Recovering in time for his afternoon consolation match, Bishop crushed Hamilton’s Rick Mayfield, surrendering only five points in the entire match. However, the schedule dealt Bishop another short hand when they put in an 8:30 a.m. match against Denison’s Andrew Demetriou. While Bishop had defeated Demetriou a week ago at team nationals, he again struggled in the morning and lost a four-game match to Demetriou.

While Bishop had a disappointing weekend, Morris finished his career up with a strong effort. Playing against the higher seeded Gavin Johnstone-Butcher from Hobart, Morris jumped out early and never relented, capturing an impressive three-game victory. Later that day, Morris continued his strong play against Navy’s number-one player, Edson Greenwood. While the third-ranked Greenwood was a formidable opponent for Morris, the senior stayed competitive in all the games and captured the third 10-8. Greenwood, though, eventually outlasted Morris and took a hard-fought four-game victory.

However, the highlight of the weekend happened off the court, as former Head Coach Dave Johnson ’71 was honored with the lifetime achievement award at the players’ banquet on Friday night. The affable and easy-going Johnson, a two-time All-American as a player, coached the team on an interim basis from 1975-77 and then permanently from 1989-2002. He consistently kept the Ephs at the top of the national rankings during his time while also providing many novices a chance to experience the game. The award only further cemented how not only his former players but also how the entire squash community feel about him.

“It was great to see DJ receive the life-time achievement award,” Montgelas said. “He was a fantastic coach, and it became clear that the squash community truly adores him.”