Men’s squash places strong 2nd at Nationals

Men’s squash (9-7, 6-1 in the NESCAC) entered CSA Nationals at Princeton ready for its competition in the B Division this past weekend. Along with conference rivals Amherst and Bates, Williams faced a division that included Navy, which they had defeated earlier in the season, and perennial rivals Western Ontario. Finishing second in that bracket and 10th overall, the Ephs proved from the outset they were up to the challenge, dominating their opponents in both Friday’s and Saturday’s matches.

The team showed up strong from the start, sweeping St. Lawrence in the first round. Six Ephs refused their opponents even a single match. Will Morris ’12 started his three-set match with a shutout, ultimately winning with a 9-0, 9-7, 9-3 score. Also keeping his opponent from points in one set, Bernard Yaros ’09 landed a three-set, 9-0, 9-2, 9-2 victory. Christian Henze ’10 and captains George Miller ’09 and Bucky Marshall ’09 also kept their opposition from capturing a single win. Though 10-6 in their season, the Saints could not answer the strength and depth shown by the Ephs.

Williams came out equally strong in its Saturday match-up against Franklin and Marshall. The Ephs outplayed the Diplomats 7-2, including victories for all four seniors. Yaros beat out Zarir Aibara in a decisive 9-3, 9-1, 9-5 victory, while Cameron Henry ’09 dispatched Ry Hawley 9-3, 9-6, 9-7. Miller and Marshall also landed three-set wins, 9-7, 9-3, 9-3 and 9-4, 9-0, 9-1 respectively. Along with the seniors, Henze and Will Gruner ’11 scored victories for the Ephs.

On Sunday, Williams faced Western Ontario in the B Division final. While they fought hard, the men came up just short, falling 5-4. “They have been a strong rival of ours the past few years and have consistently finished among the top eight teams at Nationals over the past few decades,” said Marshall. “It was an incredibly close match, and I felt like we played to our full potential, but came up just short.”

Head Coach Zafi Levy spoke happily about the team’s performance at Nationals and the season on the whole. “The boys played great,” Levy said. “We performed very well against St. Lawrence and F& M. The match versus Western Ontario was extremely close. The boys gave everything they had.”

Levy spoke happily of the team’s work on the whole season as well, and of the growth of his young players. “We have grown this season and continued the strong squash tradition at Williams,” Levy said. “Our young players played well and improved. We have a strong base for years to come.”

Levy also appreciated the work of his seniors. “I cannot thank enough George, Cameron and Bucky for everything they did for this program. In the past four years we have achieved so much,” Levy said. “Our team this year is as strong as years past and the reason for that is the strong leadership from our three seniors.”

The Ephs have finished up their season as a team, and will now host and play in the Individual National Tournament this weekend.