Sports

Women’s squash surging, men’s faltering through winter season

The women’s team finished the break with four straight wins, while the men’s battled injuries

By
Sports Staff Writer
Friday, January 24, 2014

The women’s squash team won four of its six matches over winter break, most recently with two 9-0 sweeps of Bowdoin College and Amherst College. After dropping its first four January matches, the men’s team rebounded with a 7-2 victory over Amherst Tuesday.

 

WOMEN’S SQUASH 

 (7-2, 0-2 Ivy)

 

The No. 10 Bears were on fire with a 3-0 record heading into the meat of their frigid winter season. This year’s team is “considerably deep,” said captain Dori Rahbar ’14, a former Herald contributing writer. “We did have two juniors abroad in the fall and now they are back in the lineup — two people back make a big difference.”

After returning to campus for training Jan. 6, Bruno kicked off its season with a packed three-match weekend Jan. 11 and Jan. 12 against Ivy League foes Cornell and Columbia, followed by a non-conference matchup with George Washington University. Brown fell to Cornell, losing eight of nine matches. The lone victorious Bear was Alexandra White ’15, who beat the Big Red’s Meredith Nelson in three straight sets from the ninth position.

Bouncing back into Ivy play, Bruno was defeated the next day by a Columbia lineup 6-3.  The Bears’ three victories came from the seventh, eighth and ninth positions.

After a stinging loss, the Bears returned to the Pizzitola Center later that day with a vengeance to defeat George Washington. Bruno showcased the depth in its lineup with wins from positions four through nine to defeat the Colonials 6-3. Both Isabel Pitaro ’16 and Katherine Elliot-Moskwa ’15 — from the fifth and sixth positions respectively — displayed impressive feats of mental toughness, winning both their matches in five grueling sets.

On the road the next weekend, the Bears squared off against more New England competitors. Bruno defeated Bates College in a nail-biting 5-4 match.

“We won by close margins,” Rahbar said. The outcome came down to Skylar Murphy ’16 and Emily Richmond ’16, who clinched victory for the Bears in the last two matches on court. “We have a pretty young team, and they pulled it out for us a lot there,” Rahbar said. The Bears marched onward by sweeping Bowdoin 9-0 the following day.

 

MEN’S SQUASH 

(3-8, 0-2)

 

The Bears struggled to find their footing at the start of the winter season. A series of injuries and illnesses left Brown depleted.

The men’s team has suffered from the absence of one of its top players, Alex Baldock ’17, who has been ill, wrote Head Coach Stuart LeGassick in an email to The Herald.

Columbia and Cornell both swept Brown 9-0 on its winter kick-off weekend. Cornell’s lineup proved tough as the Big Red dropped only a single set — to Patrick O’Neill ’14.  The match against Columbia was closer, with four matches going further than three sets.

The Bears continued their season by falling to Bates 8-1 and Bowdoin 6-3. “The team was disappointed with their play in the Bowdoin match where we lost 3-6 — but we played a lot better,” LeGassick wrote.

Rebounding from these losses, the Bears came back to defeat Amherst 7-2. LeGassick attributes the turnaround to the team’s increased discipline and focus.

The men’s and women’s squash teams return to the floor this weekend in the Yale Round Robin tournament.

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