Men’s squash (14–9) performed brilliantly in the first two rounds of the NESCAC Championships against No. 23 Bowdoin and No. 19 Bates last weekend before falling to No. 2 Trinity 7-2, finishing the 2020 NESCAC Championships in second place.
In the quarterfinal match, the men got off to a solid start against the Polar Bears. In the first round of play, co-captains Will Means ’20 and Carl Shuck ’20 each came away with 3-0 wins. Charles Merrill ’23 fought hard in his match but ultimately lost in four tight games.
Wyatt Khosrowshahi ’21, AJ Solecki ’21 and David Pincus ’20 took to the court next, delivering three 3-0 wins to take the match score to 5-1, securing the victory for the Ephs.
With the match won, Jacob Bassil ’22, Udai Pal ’23 and Tucker van Eck ’21 finished in the last round of play. Like the trio before them, they turned in mirroring results, with three 3-1 wins to hand the Ephs an 8-1 victory.
In the tournament’s semifinal against Bates, the men once again got off to a quick start and kept their feet on the gas throughout. The three co-captains led off for the Ephs, as Claude Smith ’20 joined the first round lineup. Means and Shuck secured another pair of 3-0 wins, while Smith added a 3-1 win of his own to give the men a 3-0 lead.
Pincus, Khosrowshahi and Solecki followed the three leadoff seniors. Pincus was in control of his match from start to secure a 3-0 win. Khosrowshahi and Solecki each found themselves locked in brutal battles but eventually triumphed 3-1 and 3-2, respectively, giving the Ephs a 6-0 lead and clinching a spot in the NESCAC Championships.
The last wave featured underclassmen Pal, Merrill and Bassil. Pal and Merrill put in complete performances en route to 3-0 wins. Bassil was also ultimately able to clinch his match 3-2 to complete the 9-0 sweep for the men.
Despite being underdogs in the NESCAC Championships against Bantams, the Ephs looked to be competitive throughout. Smith came out victorious in a five-game battle to get the Ephs on the board. Shuck played some great squash in another five-game match-up but was defeated in the final game. Means also eventually fell by a 3-0 scoreline.
Khosrowshahi, Solecki and Pincus looked to win back some points for the Ephs in the second round of play. Khosrowshahi and Pincus gave their best efforts, but came up short in respective 3-0 and 3-1 defeats. Solecki was also topped in yet another five-game marathon.
Pal, Merrill and Bassil were last to take to the courts. Merrill put in one of his best performances of the season and clinched a 3-0 win. Pal and Bassil, however, both struggled in their matches as they lost 3-2 and 3-0, respectively.
Reflecting on the final match, assistant coach Blair Dils said, “It’s not often we can say we had a chance to beat Trinity, but we really had a chance today. We’ll look to build on this momentum in the next couple weeks before heading off to nationals.”
Wyatt Khosrowshahi ’21 is a member of the men’s squash team.