Men’s squash stumbles in NESCAC finals against powerhouse Trinity

Men’s squash suffered its seventh straight loss in the NESCAC Finals this year, falling to Trinity 8-1 on Sunday. The men progressed to the finals after rolling past Bates 6-3 in the semifinals and defeating Amherst 9-0 in the quarterfinals of the NESCAC Tournament. Prior to the weekend, Williams notched a four-game win streak, defeating Brown, Wesleyan, Amherst and Columbia in play on Jan. 25-27. This was especially impressive after going 1-2 in a weekend of play at Yale on Jan. 18-20, suffering losses to St. Lawrence and Franklin & Marshall and defeating George Washington.

On Sunday, Williams faced Trinity as considerable underdogs in the NESCAC Finals. The Ephs have fallen to the Bantams in the finals every year for the last six years. Each of the Ephs went down in three or four games, except for tri-captain Nick Marks ’13, who brought home the Ephs’ sole victory at No. 2. After splitting the first two games 1-1, Marks lost the third game and was on the verge of losing the match, down 10-7 in the fourth. Marks then came back to win three consecutive points and eventually won the fourth game 14-12. With momentum in his favor, Marks finished the final game easily 11-5.

The previous afternoon, the men advanced to the semi finals, where they faced Bates. The match began with a setback after Rohan Paranjpe ’16 fell at No. 9 in four games, but tri-captains Jack Ervasti ’13, Alec Greaves-Tunnell ’13 and Marks quickly swung the momentum back in the men’s favor with three victories, bringing the score to 3-1. Andy Maruca ’14 brought the team within striking distance of clinching the match with a 3-0 win at No. 8, and Michael Petrick ’16 delivered the final blow at No. 5. Taylor Foehl ’14 added to the victory with a three-game victory at No. 3, which brought the score to 6-3.

Earlier in the day against Amherst in the quarterfinals, Kevin Chen ’15 led the charge at No. 1, in the most highly contested match against Amherst. After leading two games to one, Chen dropped the fourth game, but eventually closed out the fifth game in exciting fashion, outscoring his opponent 14-12. The rest of the team pulled a win out of each of their matches against Amherst without much struggle, giving the men a 9-0 victory over their rivals.

“We did an excellent job in the final and an excellent job in the semi-finals despite the fact that we were missing two key players, Julian Drobetsky ’14 and Chris Wilkinson ’15,” Head Coach Zafi Levy ’01 said.

On Jan. 27, Williams narrowly edged Columbia 6-3, after two strong wins over conference foes the previous day. The men crushed Amherst and Wesleyan, each by a score of 8-1, on Jan. 26. The day before that they had another impressive win, defeating Brown 7-2.

The team was not as fortunate at Yale, falling to Franklin & Marshall 8-1 on Jan. 20 after defeating George Washington 8-1 on Jan. 19. Unfortunately, the men’s 9-0 loss to St. Lawrence on Jan. 18 left Williams at 1-2 on the weekend.

The men travel to Dartmouth on Wednesday night. The match against Dartmouth is the last before Div. III Individual Championships, which will take place over the weekend at Bowdoin.