Men’s squash snares second at NESCACs

After a NESCAC tournament run that saw No. 11 men’s squash (14-9, 8-1 in the NESCAC) top Conn. College and No. 12 Middlebury on Saturday, the team fell 9-0 to No. 2 Trinity on Sunday in the tournament final. It was the men’s sixth consecutive year as NESCAC runners-up to Trinity. Trinity has won 13 consecutive national titles and recently lost their first match in 14 years to Yale on Jan. 18. Sunday’s loss came on the heels of an impressive stretch of play for the Ephs, as the team had run off wins in five of its previous six matches.

Williams first faced off against Conn. College in the NESCAC quarterfinal on Saturday. The Ephs made quick work of the Camels, dropping only five games en route to a 9-0 sweep. Jared Zuckerman ’12 had a particularly challenging match at No. 7, going up 2-0 on Camel Michael Cosarelli, 12-10 and 11-5 before dropping the next two games, by scores of 11-5 and 12-10. Zuckerman did not let Cosarelli’s momentum get the better of him, however, as he claimed an 11-7 win in the fifth and final game.

Following the win over Conn. College, Williams advanced to play Middlebury in the semifinals. The Ephs defeated the Panthers 8-1 in the regular season on Jan. 22 but were prepared for a tougher challenge in their second meeting. The Panthers were able to pick up an extra game this time around, but the Ephs proved stronger on the whole, sending the Panthers home and claiming a 7-2 victory. Tri-captain Will Morris ’12 and rookie Chris Wilkinson ’15 were particularly impressive in the No. 1 and No. 8 spots on the ladder, respectively, as each claimed a three-game win over his Panther opponent.

Sunday found Williams facing off against a vaunted Trinity squad that had topped the men 9-0 on Dec. 10. The Ephs gave it their all against the Bantams, but they were unable to pull off any upsets this time around. Tri-captain Alec Greaves-Tunnell ’13 and Julian Drobetsky ’13 both came particularly close, taking their Bantam opponents to five games before falling in the final game. Greaves-Tunnell stole the second game 11-9 and the third 13-11. However, his Bantam opponent held fast to take the match in five games. Drobetsky claimed his third game 12-10 and his fourth game 11-8, before his comeback was cut short 11-9 in the fifth game.

“We played really hard in the NESCAC final against Trinity, who is a 13-time national champion,” Head Coach Zafi Levy ’01 said. “The boys did not back down. We could have won five matches.”

Prior to the NESCAC tournament, the men had an impressive stretch of play. On Jan. 29, the team defeated Columbia 8-1, and on Jan. 28, the men claimed the Little Three title with a pair of 9-0 wins over Amherst and Wesleyan. It was the Ephs’ 13th consecutive Little Three victory.

Prior to defeating Middlebury 8-1 on Jan. 22, Williams suffered a heartbreaking defeat to No. 7 Dartmouth, falling 5-4. The loss to Dartmouth came on the heels of an 8-1 victory over Brown on Jan. 20.

Williams now prepares to host No. 14 St. Lawrence in its final regular season match. Play will begin at 4 p.m. on Saturday.

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