Men’s squash takes 12th at Nationals

Men’s squash (14-11) saw its season come to a close last weekend in the Div. I National Championship Tournament. Williams began the weekend taking on and losing to Drexel 6-3. On Saturday, Williams played Bates in the consolation semi-final. Although Williams defeated Bates 5-4 earlier in the season, Bates took the match this time around, winning 5-4. However, the men ended their season on a high note; after a highly anticipated wait, Williams took on Annapolis Naval Academy in its last match of the season. Kai Graham ’15 was the final Eph left on the courts, losing his first game only to win the next three. Williams defeated Navy 5-4.

The Ephs finished their season on Sunday with a re-match against Navy. The Ephs entered the match with vigor, determined to redeem themselves after a 6-3 loss earlier in the season. Again playing the three-court system, co-captain Chris Wilkison ’15, Varun Sharma ’16 and John Shuck ’17 took to the courts first. Although Wilkinson lost in a hard fought four games (11-7,11-8,8-11,11-6) while Shuck and Sharma defeated their opponents.

The next set of three featured Ephs Kevin Chen ’16, Galen Squiers ’16 and Jamie Havran ’18, playing two, five and eight on the ladder, respectively. Both Chen and Squiers came away with victories, giving Williams a 4-2 lead over Navy.

The final round of three came down to Graham, Jamie Ruggiero ’17 and Michael Petrick ’16. Shuck and Ruggiero, both playing through back injuries, each took their opponents to a close three games before Navy took the win. With the match tied 4-4, all eyes were on Graham as he battled against Navy’s Colin Barry. Graham lost the first match 7-11, putting all the Williams fans on their toes. However, he then proceeded to sweep the next three games 11-5, 12-10, 11-8, snatching the match from Barry and the overall victory from Navy. The Ephs concluded their season with this victory.

The consolation round for the semi-finals on Saturday brought Williams face to face with NESCAC rival Bates. A close match, Bates ultimately took a 5-4 win over Williams. However, the Ephs showed incredible depth, especially at the bottom of their ladder. Co-captain Nick Greaves-Tunnell ’15, Petrick and Havran together swept the seventh through ninth positions on the ladder. Squiers also defeated the number five seed from Bates, decidedly taking the match 11-2, 11-0, 11-2. Unfortunately, the top of the ladder was unable to clinch victories for the Ephs, despite several hard-fought matches.

Friday’s match against Drexel showed the depth and consistency of the Williams squad. Played under a three-court system, the match was up in the air until the last set of three took to the court. The Dragons swept the last three matches, allowing them a decisive victory.

However, the Ephs put forth a valiant effort against the Dragons. The Ephs gained victories at the hands of Havran and Shuck who both took their opponents to four games. Havran overpowered Drexel’s Sebastian Dangond 12-10,11-8,0-11,11-9 while Shuck took Drexel’s Mark Kauf 11-7,11-9,11-13,11-7.  Ultimately, the Ephs fell 6-3. 

The team reflects fondly on its nationals experience and year. “After a long season and a packed January schedule it was fantastic to see people head to nationals carving out rails and motivated to win,” Greaves-Tunnell said. 

With the conclusion of the season comes the departure of Chen, Graham, Greaves-Tunnell, and Wilkinson as they graduate from the College. 

The Ephs say goodbye to seniors Wilkinson, Greaves-Tunnell, Graham and Chen, who will all graduate this spring.

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