Men’s squash falls to Dartmouth, Penn

Men’s squash (7-3) hosted Dartmouth, Hamilton and Penn last weekend on the heels of the previous weekend’s successful competitions in Maine against Bates, Colby and Bowdoin.

The men produced exciting displays in the first half of the season, but the matchups with Penn and Dartmouth proved to be just beyond their reach – both ended 5-4 in favor of the opposing team. These losses ended the team’s hopes of finishing the season ranked in the top eight nationally. Between the weekend’s difficult losses, the men pounded out a 9-0 victory over Hamilton.

On Sunday, the men were called on to play at their best against fierce rival Dartmouth. After the Ephs lost two of the first round matches, Nick Marks ’13 was on the way to a comeback from two games down, but his effort was frustratingly cut short, while Jack Ervasti ’13 showed superior form to take his match in four. The second round saw the men pull even with the Big Green after Jeremy Herrmann ’11 and Julian Drobetsky ’13 delivered for the team. In the final three matches, tri-captain Bernard Yaros ’10 fought his second impressive win of the weekend, while tri-captain Ethan Buchsbaum ’10 and Will Gruner ’11 conceded their matches.

Saturday’s match against Penn was one of the closest in recent years: the final three matches were decided by only a handful of points. The first round of play saw Ervasti and tri-captain Christian Henze ’10 fall in lengthy matches. Marks dismissed his opponent after conceding a total of just thirteen points.

The Ephs drew even in the next round after Herrmann and Will Morris ’12 both finished off their opponents. Drobetsky lost a fast-paced match in four games, while Herrmann kept the Ephs even with the Quakers in an impressive five-game match.

In the 4th position, Gruner received much cheering in his massive effort to save the fourth game, but wavered in the fifth. Buchsbaum and Yaros fought to save the day for the Ephs, with Buchsbaum locked in a dead even fight at no. 1. Both players made tremendous efforts, but Buchsbaum was finally beaten 11-8 in the fifth game, securing Penn a victory. Yaros calmly defeated his opponent in the only other 3-0 victory of the match, bringing the final score to 5-4.

In the afternoon, the top players rested for the Hamilton match while Alec Greaves-Tunnell ’13, Ryan Eagan ’13, Jared Zuckerman ’12 and Aaron Seong ’12 rounded out the lineup. The Ephs showed the true depth and strength of the team as each player secured a 3-0 win over the Continentals.

Head Coach Zafi Levy, while unsatisfied with the team effort, praised the performance of his individual players. “I thought the boys played well this weekend,” he commented. “We came just short in both matches, which was very disappointing. Nevertheless, each and every player gave 110 percent of himself.”

The youth of the team indicates that the team’s prospects are still bright. “We have many young players in the lineup and, with time, they will get stronger and improve their game,” Levy explained.

The men came into the weekend on a positive note after a trip to Maine the previous weekend. After knocking out Bates 5-4, the men gave a clinical display at Colby for a 9-0 win and defeated Bowdoin 8-1 the next morning.

The men now set their sights on winning the ‘B’ draw to secure a national no. 9 ranking. They will travel to Brown on Saturday and then face Cornell at home on Sunday.