Men’s squash (6-6, 3-0 in the NESCAC) spent the weekend on the road, traveling first to Philadelphia for a grueling encounter with their perennial rivals at Penn on Saturday, and then competing in Annapolis for key matches against Navy and George Washington. The men recorded victories against Bates on Jan. 9 and Bowdoin and Colby on Jan. 8, though they fell to Yale on Jan. 7.
The men faced strong teams from Navy and George Washington in Annapolis on Sunday. The Ephs cruised to an impressive 7-2 rout of the Midshipmen. The depth of the Ephs’ squad proved critical to the victory; with rookie Andy Maruca ’14 injured, Jared Zuckerman ’12 stepped up to deliver wins against both Navy and George Washington out of the ninth spot. Co-captains Will Gruner ’11 and Jeremy Herrmann ’11 led the men by example, delivering two victories each in the second and third spots, respectively, to contribute to the win.
The Ephs dismissed the Colonials in short order, claiming victory in another 7-2 match. Herrmann played a spectacular game against the squad from George Washington, allowing his opponent only one point in the entire match. Again, the team’s depth proved key: All seven of the Ephs’ victories came from players competing from the third seed and below.
The men found themselves down early against Penn on Saturday, and the deficit in points grew to an insurmountable 5-1 tally in Penn’s favor. Though the Ephs tallied three straight wins in the last round, they could not surpass the Quakers’ early lead and ended the day with a disappointing 5-4 loss.
No. 6 Alec Greaves-Tunnell ’13 scored the first point for the Ephs against Penn, finishing his opponent after a five-game marathon. Jack Ervasti ’13, playing in the seven spot, followed suit, coming back to win a match that saw him down two games early. Rookie Taylor Foehl ’14 gave a strong performance playing out of the No. 4 seed, dismissing a former two-time junior national champion in four clinical games. First seed Will Morris ’12 ended the night with a victory as he dispatched his opponent in five games.
The team was disappointed by the narrow loss to the Quakers. “The only consolation after such a heartbreaking loss is knowing that we’ll get another shot at them at Nationals,” Gruner said.
The men’s road trip came right on the heels of a 3-1 three-day home stand. The men also took the court against NESCAC nemesis Bates on Sunday. The Ephs punched through the Bobcats’ lineup for a 9-0 victory. Gruner, Herrmann and Nick Marks ’13 all delivered strong performances in the victory.
Due to the heavy lineup of matches, the men rested several of their starters against Colby on Jan. 8, allowing Eli Bronfman ’11, Mike Pizzi ’12 and Aaron Seong ’12 to crack the lineup. All three delivered strong wins, leading Williams to a 6-3 dismissal of Colby. Williams delivered a solid victory over Bowdoin later in the day, thrashing the Polar Bears 8-1 despite having stumbled early in the weekend: Second-ranked Yale executed a 9-0 sweep on Jan. 7.
The men will travel to Hanover, N.H. for a 2 p.m. matchup against Dartmouth on Saturday before they begin looking ahead to Jan. 29 for the always-heated Little Three Championship.