Men’s squash competes at Individuals

Men’s squash (9-7, 6-1 in the NESCAC) finished up its season this weekend, hosting the top 80 men and 80 women from 56 colleges for the Collegiate Squash Association Individual Championships. Although there were no Ephs playing in the Men’s A draw, there were nine in the Men’s B draw, including sixth-seeded Ethan Buchsbaum ’10. Others in the B division were co-captain George Miller ’09, Christian Henze ’10, Cameron Henry ’09, Will Gruner ’11, Bernard Yaros ’09, Jeremy Herrmann ’11 and Will Morris ’12.

The individual tournament has a grueling format, which as Head Coach Zafi Levy describes, “is very difficult as the winners can play as many as 6 matches in 48 hours. Playing so much is physically very taxing and therefore rewards those fit and strong athletes.”

Buchsbaum advanced the farthest in the tournament, reaching the semifinals and notching a few tight wins, including his five-game victory over Adam Perkiomaki of the University of Rochester in the Round of 16. The highlight of his run was definitely his five-game semifinal loss to Yale’s Robby Berner, in which Buchsbaum won the first 9-4, lost the next two 0-9, 3-9, and rallied to take the fourth 9-5 before ultimately losing in the fifth 3-9.

After losing their first round matches, Herrmann and Yaros were entered in the Men’s B division consolation. Yaros advanced to the quarterfinals after losing an incredible four-game match in the quarterfinals to Brown’s No. 1 Adrian Leanza (Leanza defeated Yaros with a score of 9-6, 2-0, 9-7, 10-9).

Miller declared Herrmann’s performance to be a highlight of the weekend. “He did lose first round, but he had a tough opponent,” Miller said. “He followed that up with an incredible weekend of squash. Battling through the consolation draw, he came up with some big wins and made it to the finals before losing in four.”

Herrmann got all the way to the finals, after a series of clutch victories, including a tense game win in the quarterfinals followed by a close four-game win in the semifinals. Unfortunately another Eph to fall prey to Leanza, Herrmann was defeated in four tight games (Leanza won 4-9, 9-6, 9-4, 9-0).

Although Henze, Miller, Henry and Gruner all won their first round matches, they lost their second round matches and were placed in the B division Second Round Consolation draw. Henze, Henry and Gruner were all eliminated in their first round, but Gruner played a fantastic five-game marathon, losing to Atlanta’s Charles Jarvis. Miller played strong and advanced to the finals after rallying in the semifinals to beat Cornell’s McKay Claghorn in four games. After winning the first game of the finals 9-4, he lost the next three to Yale’s Naishadh Lalwani, 2-9, 1-9, 0-9.

Morris was the lone Eph in the Men’s Molloy Cup Third Round Consolation Draw after winning his first two matches in the main draw. He easily won his first round in three games against the University of Rochester’s Joe Chapman. He had a bit more trouble in the Round of 16, but ultimately won in four games. His run ended in the Round of 16 when he played incredibly and took the top-seeded Thomas Spettigue (of Cornell University) to five games before suffering defeat (9-7, 3-9, 1-9, 9-2, 9-5). In the Consolation Draw, he lost in the quarterfinals to Bates’ Kush Mahan 3-9, 9-7, 3-9, 3-9.
Players from Trinity claimed victory in both the A and B divisions of the championship.

The team’s performance this weekend was representative of its talent and a testament to its improvement throughout the season. “I am very pleased with the teams results this weekend and during the season in general,” Levy said. “Many young players stepped up this season and I was very pleased to see them grow and improve.”

In addition to its strong playing this weekend, Williams became one of only two teams (besides Trinity) to have three players named to the 2009 All-NESCAC Men’s Squash First Team. Buchsbaum was named to the team for the second year in a row, and he was joined by first time members Miller and Morris. Gruner was named to the All-NESCAC Men’s Squash Second Team.