Men’s squash grabs 4th at nat’l champs

No. 12 men’s squash (16-11, 7-1 in the NESCAC) ended a long season of team competition last weekend, going 1-2 at the Hoehn Cup ‘B’ Division National Championship to place fourth at the tournament and 12th in the nation. Despite silencing No. 15 Brown 7-2, the men suffered an upset in the semifinals at the hands of No. 14 Columbia (5-4), putting them in the third- and fourth-place consolation round against No. 12 St. Lawrence. Despite having beaten the Saints only the week before, the men fell 5-4.

Taking on Brown last Friday in the first round of the Hoehn Cup, the men played strong squash throughout the ladder. At No. 1, tri-captain Will Morris ’12 played a marathon five-game match. Morris and Brown’s Brad Thompson split the first two games, but the Eph took the lead with a narrow 12-10 victory in the third. Thompson battled back to take the fourth 11-8, knotting the match at 2-2. In the fifth, however, Morris took the game 11-3 to record the win.

Kevin Chen ’15 played a mature match at No. 2 but was unable to overcome a strong Bear opponent, falling 3-0. No. 3 Andy Maruca ’14 also faced strong opposition from the Brown squad, falling in five games despite an 11-3 upset in the second and an 11-7 comeback in the fourth. In the middle of the ladder, Taylor Foehl ’14 and Nick Marks ’13 cruised to easy three-game victories at Nos. 4 and 5, respectively. At No. 6, tri-captain Alec Greaves-Tunnell ’13 took his match in four despite a narrow 11-9 stumble in the second. Julian Drobetsky ’13, Chris Wilkinson ’15 and Nick Greaves-Tunnell ’15 also took decisive three-game wins at the seventh, eighth and ninth spots on the ladder, respectively. The Ephs ended the match with a 7-2 win over the Bears to advance to the semifinal.

Up against Columbia in the semifinal on Saturday, Williams was strongly favored, having beaten Columbia 8-1 on Jan. 29. The first round of play saw the Ephs fall 2-1 as Maruca lost in three games at No. 3 and Nick Greaves-Tunnell fell in four at No. 9. Alec Greaves-Tunnell kept the Ephs in the match, however, with a dominant 3-0 performance at No. 6. The biggest match of the day came at No. 2, as Chen faced Columbia’s Anthony Zou. Despite having beaten Zou earlier in the season, Chen found himself down 2-0. Battling back, the Eph took the third 11-5 and the fourth 11-1 to knot the match at 2-2. He went on to drop the final game 11-9.

Columbia’s 4-2 lead quickly evaporated in the third round, as No. 7 Drobetsky and No. 4 Foehl both picked up narrow four-game victories to tie the match at 4-4. The match came down to No. 1, Morris and Columbia’s rookie standout Ramit Tandon. With tensions running high, it was Tandon who came out on top, taking the match in three. The loss at No. 1 gave the Lions the 5-4 win and sent the Ephs to the third- and fourth-place consolation match.

A disappointed Williams squad faced St. Lawrence in the consolation round on Sunday; the men fell 5-4. The Ephs got off to an uninspiring start, with No. 3 Maruca, No. 6 Alec Greaves-Tunnell and No. 9 Jared Zuckerman ’12 each falling. In the second round, Marks got the men their first point of the day, taking his match at No. 5 in three games. Chen struggled at No. 2, falling in three games. At No. 8, Wilkinson battled back from a 2-0 deficit to take his third and fourth games 11-8 and 12-10. In the end, Wilkinson’s opponent came out on top, taking the fifth game 11-8 to clinch the overall victory and third place for St. Lawrence in the Hoehn Cup. In the final round, Drobetsky, Foehl and Morris deftly handled their respective Saint opponents, but the wins came too late.

“It was a disappointing performance for our men’s team this weekend,” said Head Coach Zafi Levy ‘01. “We had high expectation of winning the ‘B’ division, but we did not play our best. We will have to learn from this experience.”

The men will next travel to Amherst on March 3 to compete in the Collegiate Squash Association’s Individual Championships.