Men’s squash took to the courts on Saturday to face No. 15 Navy. The match was hotly contested by a much-improved Navy squad, but key victories in the top and middle of the ladder allowed the Ephs to pull out a narrow 5-4 win over the Midshipmen.
Prior to last weekend’s play, the men fell 9-0 to Cornell on Nov. 20 after conquering Hamilton 9-0 on Nov. 19. The team also lost 9-0 to top-ranked Harvard on Nov. 18.
The first round of play against Navy on Saturday saw a decisive four-game victory at No. 6 from Andy Maruca ’14. At No. 3, Nick Marks ’13 pushed his opponent to five games but was ultimately unable to capitalize on a hard-won 11-6 victory in his fourth game, falling three games to two. Aaron Seong ’12 struggled at No. 9, falling in straight games.
At No. 2 and No. 5 respectively, Kevin Chen ’15 and Alec Greaves-Tunnell ’13 played reliably, with Chen taking a three-game win and Alec Greaves-Tunnell following suit with a victory despite a tough 11-6 loss in the third game. Jared Zuckerman ’12 played a marathon match at No. 8, but he ultimately fell in five games. The match was even at 3-3 going into the final round of play.
In the third round, rookie Chris Wilkinson ’15 delivered a quick win despite a close loss in the third game. Wilkinson took the first two games 11-1 and 11-5 before falling 15-13 in the third game. The Eph earned an 11-5 win in the fourth game to earn a match victory. Taylor Foehl ’14 fought hard at No. 4, nearly drawing the match even in the fourth game. However, he ultimately fell 15-13 in the deciding game, pinning the match decision on the fate of senior captain Will Morris ’12. Morris, playing at No. 1, dropped his first game 11-7. The Eph took the second game after a tight 13-11 battle and then cruised to 11-5 and 11-7 victories in the third and fourth games, respectively. His strong performance at No. 1 led the team to a hard-fought 5-4 victory.
“Navy has improved a lot from last year, and we are still missing two top-nine players, so I am very pleased with the win,” Head Coach Zafi Levy ’01 said.
On Nov. 20, the team faced tough competition from Cornell. Although the day saw a difficult 9-0 loss for the Ephs, strong play across the roster belied the score. Marks, Chen and Maruca fought hard from the two, three and five positions, respectively, before falling in four games. At No. 4, Foehl fell in five games after hard-fought victories in the second and third games. Foehl lost 11-4 in the first game before winning 13-11 in the second game and 15-13 in the third game. He could not complete his comeback, however, losing 11-7 in the fourth and 11-8 in the fifth. At No. 9, Nick Greaves-Tunnell ’15 also put up a fierce performance, taking the third game 11-8 and the fourth game 11-7 before falling 11-7 in the fifth. Morris, Wilkinson and Seong each fell in three games to the Cornell squad.
On Nov. 19, the men earned their first victory of the season, downing Hamilton 9-0 at home. At the top of the roster, Marks, Chen and Foehl handily defeated their opponents in three games, while Maruca dropped only eight points in his three-game victory at No. 4 (11-3, 11-2, 11-2). No. 5 Alec Greaves-Tunnell won a hard-fought match, holding off two game points in the third before taking the game 13-11 to secure a victory. Wilkinson, Seong, Nick Greaves-Tunnell and Zuckerman all cruised to three-game victories from the bottom half of the ladder.
On Nov. 18, Williams took on top-ranked Harvard in its season opener, ultimately falling 9-0 at home. The Ephs resisted at the one, three and four positions, with Morris, Chen and Foehl taking games early in their respective matches before falling in four games. Wilkinson gave a strong performance at No. 7, falling in three closely contested games, 11-8, 11-9 and 11-9. Marks, Maruca, Alec Greaves-Tunnell, Seong and Nick Greaves-Tunnell lost their matches in straight games, struggling against a dominant Crimson squad.
On Friday the men will face Princeton at 7 p.m. before taking on top competition in Penn and Trinity on Saturday. The team will face Penn at 11 a.m. and Trinity at 7 p.m. “The season is really young, and we still have a lot of room to grow and improve,” Levy said. “We look forward to the challenge and the much-needed experience for our young players.”