Men’s squash places fourth at NESCAC Championship

Will Means ’20 won his match in the quartefinal win over Colby. Photo courtesy of Sports Information.

Men’s squash finished fourth in the NESCAC Championship last weekend. The men defeated Colby but lost to Bates in the semifinals before losing to Middlebury.

On Saturday, the Ephs beat Colby 5–4 in a tight encounter before bowing out to Bates 6–3 in the semifinals of the NESCAC championship at Hamilton.

In the morning match against Colby, Carl Shuck ’20, Claude Smith ’20, Wyatt Khosrowshahi ’21 and Will Ruggiero ’19 led off play for the Ephs. After losing the first game, Ruggiero waged a nice comeback to win 3-1. Shuck battled his way to a hard-earned five game victory. Khosrowshahi played another five-gamer but lost 3-2. Smith struggled to get a hold in his match and was defeated in three games, leaving the day deadlocked at 2-2 after the first wave of play. Closing for the Ephs in the second wave of play were John Fitzgerald ’19, Anand Butler  ’19, Will Means ’20  and tri-captains Andrew Litvin ’18 and Mason Elizondo ’18. Fitzgerald turned in a strong 3-0 win to add another point for the Ephs. Butler was defeated in a tight four-game match. Litvin, Elizondo and Means all played five-game battles that could have gone either way, and in the end Litvin lost, but Elizondo and Means were able to pull out a pair of wins to earn two crucial points for the Ephs. Overall, the Ephs beat the Mules 5-4.

In the afternoon battle against Bates, Shuck, Smith, Khosrowshahi and Jamie Havran ’18 kicked the match off. It was a slow start for the Ephs, with Smith, Khosrowshahi and Havran all coming short in three, four and five games, respectively.

Shuck was able to earn the sole win from the opening wave of play with a solid 3-0 victory. Fitzgerald, Butler, Ben Eisenberg ’19, Ruggiero and Means  followed, with the Ephs needing at least four wins from these five matches to win the overall match.

Things started looking up for the Ephs when Ruggiero won 3-0, but unfortunately the comeback was not meant to be. Eisenberg, Means and Butler all played thrilling five game matches, but only Eisenberg could earn another point for the Ephs. Fitzgerald was also defeated in a tough 3-1 match to round out the overall match to a 6-3 win for the Bobcats.

Due to injuries, the Ephs fielded a lineup featuring only two of their regular top six players on Sunday’s match against Middlebury.

Leading off for the Ephs against the Panthers  were Khosrowshahi, Smith,  Havran and Ruggiero. Khosrowshahi and Smith each had tough matches and were defeated 3-0. Havran and Ruggiero fared slightly better, both splitting the first two games of their matches, but both ultimately fell in four games to their opponents.

Following next were Shuck, Butler, Eisenberg, Litvin and Elizondo. Butler and Eisenberg were each beaten in three games. Litvin fought hard but was eventually defeated in four tight games.

Elizondo battled hard in another tight match that could have gone either way but was unlucky to fall 3-2 in the end. Shuck played a brilliant marathon match with Middlebury’s strong No. 1 player that went to five games, and he pulled out 14-12 in the fifth, winning the match.

The men have their final regular season match at Brown on Thursday before competing at Nationals two weeks later on Feb. 23.