Men’s squash plays at individual tourney

Select members of men’s squash traveled to Annapolis, Md. last weekend after qualifying to compete in the CSA national individual tournament. Jon Barry ’08, Ethan Buchsbaum ’10 and Will Gruner ’11 represented Williams at the tournament. Barry was the only Eph representative in the Potter cup, which includes the top 32 college-level squash players; Buchsbaum and Gruner played in the Malloy Draw.

Barry entered the championships being the 31st seed out of the 32 collegiate players, but nonetheless managed to make his way into the top 24. Barry lost in three games to the No. 1 seed, and eventual champion, Baset Chaundry of Trinity, but then responded with a defeat of Will Newnham of Rochester. In the consolation round, Barry was unable to beat Yale’s John Fulham, finishing his collegiate career with an impressive final tournament.

In the B-draw Williams was represented by Buchsbaum, who was the only Eph to compete in all of the six possible matches. The tournament proved to be a series of close and tight matches for Buchsbaum. He started off strong, winning his first match against Dartmouth’s Steven Preefer. On Friday night, in a thrilling five-game match against his Navy opponent, Buchsbaum again came out on top, advancing to the round of sixteen. He then took his first stumble after a four-game match against Francis Johnson, the No. 4 seed from Yale – twelve spots above Buchsbaum’s original seeding of 18. After the loss, Buchsbaum returned to upset Ryan Forester of Western Ontario. He then easily defeated Yale captain Moshe Sarfaty and was matched in the plate round final against the No. 3 seed from Bates. However, Buchsbaum couldn’t keep up his intensity and lost in four games.

Gruner, who as a rookie has had an impressive season to date, also represented the Ephs well in the B-draw. His first five-game match on Friday wasn’t a success, but with a bye in the first round of the consolation and then a Saturday morning win over Jake Sack of Bowdoin, things were looking up for Gruner. He continued on his hot-streak with a win in four games over Mckay Claghorn of Cornell. Moving on to the semifinals of the consolation round, Gruner continued his impressive play, beating USC’s No. 1 John Rothie and guaranteeing himself a place in the finals. Gruner competed against Navy’s Alan Lutz in the finals and the competitors split the first two games. Gruner narrowly won the third, but fell to Lutz in the fourth when the toll of playing 18 games in 60 hours eventually caught up with him.

“Individual matches are tougher than regular season matches because you have multiple matches each day for a couple days,” Gruner said. “It can really start to wear on you.”

With their season at an official close Head Coach Zafi Levy was proud of the way all six of his athletes – three men and three women – performed over the weekend. “I thought all six of our players overachieved this weekend,” he said. “Overall, I was extremely happy.”

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