Sports

Women’s squash win, men’s squash split weekend matches

Women blank Williams, while men lose to Ephs but bounce back with second place at tourney

By
Sports Staff Writer
Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The men’s squash team, led by a group of seniors including Tod Holberton ’14, went 1-3 over the long weekend, losing a hard-fought match to Middlebury to end a team tournament at Harvard with a 2-1 record.

The men’s and women’s squash teams played their last home matches of the season against Williams College Feb. 11, with the women picking up a 9-0 win in their fifth sweep of the season. The men did not share in the women’s success, falling to the Ephs 5-4 in a hard-fought match.

The men went on to compete Sunday in the 2014 College Squash Association Team Championships in the Summers Cup C Division at Harvard.

 

Women’s squash (11-7, 0-7 Ivy)

The No. 10 Bears finished home play on a sentimental Senior Night with their sweep of the No. 15 Ephs. An overall strong performance saw Bruno win four straight-game matches. “We knew it wasn’t going to be terribly close unless we messed up,” said Dori Rahbar ’14, a former Herald contributing writer, adding that the team was “pretty confident the whole time.”

Alexandra White ’15, playing in the ninth spot, initially struggled, losing the first two games of her match. She went on to level the game score 2-2 and eventually to take the fifth 12-10.

Rahbar also won her match in five games after dropping the first two. “I didn’t want to lose my last match,” Rahbar said. Suffering a defeat in the last match was “one of those things where I thought, ‘That can’t happen, not this time,’” she said.

Fellow seniors Sarah Domenick ’14 and Meredith Schmidt-Fellner ’14 both won their matches in four games to finish their last regular season on a high note.

“It’s sad,” Rahbar said. “You watch the other three years and you don’t really know what it feels like until it’s your last time putting on the uniform.”

Next weekend, the women will travel to Princeton to play their team championship tournament.

“It’s fun because all the teams are there together,” Rahbar said. “You see all the matches happening.”

 

Men’s squash (6-16, 0-7)

In a back-and-forth match, the No. 19 Bears fell to No. 17 Williams 5-4, with five of nine matches forced to five games. Alex Baldock ’17 barely hung on to his match in fifth spot, winning 9-11, 11-2, 11-7, 6-11, 13-11 after starting the fifth game down 7-2.

In the first spot, co-captain Blake Reinson ’14 also fell in five games to Williams’ Kevin Chen. “It came down to our number one who played a good match, played his heart out, but unfortunately couldn’t come through with a win,” said co-captain Chip Lebovitz ’14, a former Herald opinions editor.

The results were “a little disappointing, but overall the match, going into Nationals, put us on the right track,” Lebovitz said.

After that match, the Bears had three days to make final adjustments for the Team Championships.

Bruno dispatched No. 22 Amherst College (7-12) by a score of 7-2 in the first round.

In the second spot, Jack Blasberg ’16 blasted past his opponent in four sets, winning 11-4, 11-7, 7-11, 11-9. Foster Hoff ’16 also won in four sets against his opponent in the fourth spot.

Brown won each of its other five victories in three sets. The only losses the team incurred came from a five-game loss in the one spot and a straight-game loss in the seventh spot.

The Bears continued to inch along in the tournament by taking down No. 18 Wesleyan University (15-8). This was the Bears’ first 5-4 victory of the season, after losing four matches by just one game earlier this season.

After losing to Wesleyan 5-4 in the fall season, the team was eager to get revenge, Lebovitz said.

A strong bottom part of the Cardinals’ lineup took 3-0, 3-1 and 3-0 wins from the seventh, eighth and ninth positions, respectively.  Bruno scrapped together wins from the middle part of its lineup with the four and five spots sweeping their opponents.

“Getting over that hump was about being tough in the critical points,” Lebovitz said. “You are playing games to 11 and a lot of times you get to eight all or nine all, and it’s about avoiding the error, playing smart and being confident … that you have got the ability to get the job done.”

In the finals, the Bears had yet another rematch with No. 17 Middlebury College (11-8). Three weeks prior, Bruno had fallen to the Panthers 6-3 at the Yale Round Robin tournament.

Though Bruno improved upon its previous result, it lost again by a 5-4 margin.

“The match was bittersweet,” Lebovitz said. “We played one of our best matches of the season.”

Reinson, Hoff and Baldock were key to Brown’s success once again, all securing wins. The wild-card match came from Oliver Booth ’16, who defeated Middlebury’s Andrew Cardienhead in four sets. Booth had lost to Cardienhead in their first meeting at Yale.

With the match score at 4-4, the outcome came down to Patrick O’Neill ’14 in the seventh spot. O’Neill was up 2-1 before his Middlebury opponent got hot, going on to win the match 11-1 in the fifth.

Lebovitz fell 12-10 in the fifth game after having match point.

“I personally had a very heartbreaking match,” Lebovitz said. “It was the last match of my career.”

“We didn’t get the result we wanted to, but it was a good match not only for our seniors but … for the underclassmen to get a little bit hungry for next year,” Lebovitz said.

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