Men’s squash defeats St. Lawrence in close contest

After finishing a strong second in the NESCAC tournament on Feb. 5, No. 10 men’s squash (15-9, 8-1 in the NESCAC) continued its success with a convincing win over No. 14 St. Lawrence on Saturday. Playing in their final regular season match, the Ephs defeated the Saints 6-3 to end their season with a hard-fought win at home. The Ephs won at No. 1 and No. 2 and had a strong showing in the middle of the lineup with wins at four through seven on the ladder to take the match.

Tri-captain Will Morris ’12 faced off against the Saints’ Vir Seth at No. 1. Morris easily bested Seth 3-0. At No. 2, Kevin Chen ’15 had a particularly challenging match but outlasted the Saints’ Kyle Ogilvy. Ogilvy won the first two games 12-10 and 11-7 before Chen charged back with three consecutive wins, taking the last three games 11-7, 11-7 and 11-9 to close the match with a win for the Ephs.

At No. 3, Andy Maruca ’14 had a strong early showing before dropping three games to the Saints’ Ibrahim Khan. Maruca won the first game 13-11 before Khan hit his stride. Khan went on to win the next three games 11-8, 11-9 and 11-8 to take the match for the Saints.

Taylor Foehl ’14 rallied at No. 4 after going down 2-1 to claim a 3-2 win over Chris Fernandez. The Ephs continued to dominate the middle of the lineup. Tri-captain Alec Greaves-Tunnell ’13 crushed Amay Merchant at No. 5, shutting him out 3-0 and handing Merchant his first loss of the year. At No. 6, Nick Marks ’13 trounced his opponent 3-0, while teammate Julian Drobetsky ’13 won his match 3-1 at No. 7.

After taking losses at four through seven, the Saints showed some life at Nos. 8 and 9. Dunan Maxwell edged rookie Chris Wilkinson ’15 by a score of 3-2 with a thrilling finish. Wilkinson lost the first game 12-10 but then won the next two games 11-2 and 11-9. After a close fourth game, the match was tied at two games each before Maxwell cut Wilkinson’s comeback short with an 11-8 victory in game five. At No. 9, the Saints’ Anderson Good turned Nicholas Greaves-Tunnell ’15 away in three games.

“The men passed a very difficult hurdle in St. Lawrence,” Head Coach Zafi Levy ’01 said. “We knew this would be hard, and we fought all the way and came up with a good win.”

The victory over St. Lawrence marks the final regular season match for Williams. The squad finished its season with an impressive stretch of play, winning seven out of its last eight matches and losing only to No. 2 Trinity in the NESCAC championship final on Feb. 5.

After a triumphant conclusion to their regular season, the Ephs look forward to building on their success in the championship season. The men will next compete at the National Team Championships at Princeton this weekend. Matches will begin on Friday.

“We are heading into Nationals this weekend in pursuit of a title,” Levy said. “We will have to play our best against some of the best teams in the nation.”

Qualifying men will then have two weeks to prepare for the National Individual Championships hosted by rival Amherst on March 2.