Sports

Women’s squash keeps rolling, men split matches

Both squads beat Colby, women edge out Middlebury and improve to 9-2 overall

By
Sports Staff Writer
Tuesday, January 28, 2014

In its first weekend of play since the end of winter break, the No. 10 women’s squash team continued its non-conference dominance with victories over Colby College and Middlebury College Saturday. Mina Shakarshy ’15 showed her experience on the court, clinching the deciding match for Bruno against the Panthers (7-6) by winning three consecutive games. The men’s team split the weekend, defeating Colby (7-5) by a score of 7-2 before falling to Middlebury (7-6) after dropping the first three matches.

 

Women’s squash (9-2, 0-2 Ivy)

Bruno started its round-robin tournament with a bang, defeating Colby (1-3) by a score of 9-0. This victory was Brown’s third 9-0 sweep in a row, with the first two coming in matches against Bowdoin College (6-10) and Amherst College (5-7). The Bears demonstrated strong play at every position in their lineup by not dropping a single game to the Mules.

Isabel Scherl ’17 dominated her opponent in the eighth position, bageling her in the third game after winning the first two 11-4, 11-7.

Brown coasted to victory against Colby in a game that offered preparation for the Bears’ matchup against Middlebury.

The Mules “weren’t very strong,” said Emily Richmond ’16. “It was a good warm-up match because we were playing on those same courts later that day against Middlebury and that was going to be an important match for us.”

After a breezy warm-up, the Bears took on the more competitive Middlebury lineup. “We haven’t played them for a couple years,” Richmond said. “This is the first time I’ve played them.” Brown raced to a lead, with the lower part of the lineup notching two wins.

The score read 2-1 by Richmond’s fifth game, with one loss to the Panthers coming from a five-game match in the sixth spot. Richmond won her match in five sets to give the Bears a 3-1 lead. “I hadn’t expected it to be such a close match,” Richmond said, adding that she was glad to help Bruno inch toward five points to win the match.

Brown continued its conquest by winning another match, extending its lead to 4-1. Bruno only needed one more match to clinch, but with four close contests still taking place, the meet was far from over. Two five-game Bruno losses in the second and fifth spots were all Middlebury would need to bounce right back into the match.

“Then it was down to two matches,” Richmond said, noting that either Shakarshy or captain Dori Rahbar ’14, a former Herald contributing writer, needed to win.

Rahbar has battled a hamstring injury for most of the season, so the team’s hopes largely rested on Shakarshy, Richmond said.

Shakarshy did not disappoint. After losing the first game 11-4, she went on to win the next three, 11-3, 11-8, 11-8 to clinch the match for the Bears.

“She is really good in clutch matches like that,” said Head Coach Stuart LeGassick. “Nine times out of 10, she’ll come through.”

 

Men’s squash (4-9, 0-2 Ivy)

The men shared in the women’s success over Colby, defeating the Mules 7-2. The only wins Colby walked away with were straight set wins in the seventh and eighth positions.

“They had a couple of good players in their lineup that challenged us — there are really no walkovers in college squash, but we won pretty comfortably,” said co-captain Blake Reinson ’14. “I think we wanted to be focused and try to get another win.”

Making his winter season debut, Alex Baldock ’17 clinched the match against Colby. It is “great to have him back in the lineup,” LeGassick said.

Later that day, the men faced a tough Middlebury squad, falling to the Panthers 6-3.

“We got down 3-0 right from the start and that put us in a bit of a hole,” Reinson said. “There were a couple of close matches,” he said, calling the Panthers “a pretty solid team.”

Though Oliver Booth ’16 and Jack Blasberg ’16, two of the team’s top three players, put up a tough fight, both fell in four sets, Reinson said. But he expressed confidence the Bears could redeem themselves when they next face the Panthers.

“If we get them again next time, it could (go) either way,” Reinson said.

Next for the Bears is a trip to Philadelphia to take on Penn (6-2, 2-1) Feb. 2.

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