Sports

Men’s squash wraps up season with no Ivy wins

Bruno falls to Western Ontario in second round of Squash National Championships

By
Contributing Writer
Monday, February 23, 2015

Charlie Blasberg ’18 lunges for the ball. Blasberg proved instrumental this weekend, winning every match he played.

The No. 18 men’s squash team finished the season with a 7-9 record, defeating  both No. 23 Bowdoin College and No. 20 Wesleyan University and losing to the No. 19 University of Western Ontario in the College Squash Association National Championship this weekend at Wesleyan. The Bears, coming off a six-game losing streak that started Jan. 30, clinched an easy 9-0 victory against Bowdoin (5-16).

Jack Blasberg ’16, a Herald opinions columnist, won all three of his sets 11-7, 11-5 and 11-5. Alex Baldock ’17 also won his match in the first three sets, sweeping his opponent 12-10, 11-9 and 11-9. Three first-years stepped up for the Bears to take home the win: Thomas Blecher ’18, Thomas Walker ’18 and Herald sports columnist Charlie Blasberg ’18 all won their matches in three sets.

Saturday proved to be a harder battle. The Bears lost 5-4 to non-conference opponent Western Ontario (7-3), which was just coming off two strong performances against Hobart and William Smith College. Both Blecher and Charlie Blaberg won their second matches of the weekend, while Nicholas Talbott ’15 and Foster Hoff ’16 won their first. Despite the four victories, the Bears were unable to oust the Western Mustangs.

Sunday’s match against Wesleyan (13-9) sealed a successful weekend for the Bears. Even though Baldock had to sit out because of a knee injury, the team won 6-3, with Hoff, Blecher, Charlie Blasberg, Alex Demeulenaere ’18, Michael Snower ’17 and Oliver Booth ’16 all emerging victorious.

Hoff and Demeuelenare beat their opponents easily, while Charlie Blasberg and Snower had a little more difficulty in winning their matches. Charlie Blasberg played five sets and won three of them in a constantly back-and-forth match. Snower started strong, winning the first two sets 20-18 and 11-9. But his Wesleyan opponent gained momentum, and Snower lost the next two sets 4-11 and 16-18. In the final set, Snower regained control of the match, winning 11-5.

Blecher got off to a slow start, losing the first set 4-11, but he quickly stole the momentum and won the next three sets 11-5, 13-11 and 11-9. Booth won the first two sets of his match but narrowly lost the third 10-12, sending the match into a fourth set. He quickly restored his confidence and won the set 11-6.

Hoff, Charlie Blasberg and Blecher won all three of their matches.

“We played at Wesleyan this weekend, and they have cold courts there,” Charlie Blasberg said. “All three of us perform well on cold courts, as they suit our game styles.”

A select few Bears will finish out the season next weekend at the College Squash Association Individual Championship.

Despite strong play this season, Bruno went 0-7 in the Ivy League. As the Bears look toward the 2015-2016 season, they hope to “pick off an Ivy win and get a good upset against a beatable team, such as Princeton, Penn or Dartmouth,” Charlie Blasberg said.

“We have nearly every member of the team returning next season, so we will hopefully be even stronger,” Baldock said. “Ideally we would like to move up a few sports in the rankings, which I believe we can do if we train hard for next year and really try to learn and take away what we can from our losses this year.”

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  • Brown Alum

    In the last 12 seasons, the men’s squash team has exactly 1 win over an Ivy opponent during regular season play. This is the worst Ivy record among Brown sports, to my knowledge, and possibly within the Ivy League. The team is not even within shouting distance of the second worst team in the league. At least 3 NESCAC schools are better than Brown. There are several reasons for this record of failure. One, the squash facility is by leaps and bounds the worst in the league. Virtually every prep school that my son played squash against has far superior facilities. 5 courts for a men’s and women’s program is nothing short of a joke. The facilities are a strong signal to potential recruits that men’s squash is a poor stepchild of Brown’s athletic program. Two, the university has failed to raise the money to build a new facility, despite years and years of talk about it. Three, as alluded to above, the men’s squash program is not a priority within the university athletic team hierarchy and suffers when it comes to the number of recruits allocated to it. Four, the coach, who is a wonderful gentlemen, is not a serious recruiter, although one could question how successful he could be if he tried to recruit given the state of the facilities. Having said all this, it needs to be noted that there are a number of excellent squash players on Brown’s men’s team; they’re just not competitive with the level of talent at the other Ivies. Question to President Paxson and Jack Hayes. How can you permit this astounding level of failure to repeat itself year-in, year-out? It’s a disgrace. While, no doubt, this is not the university’s most pressing issue, the money is out there in the alumni body to fund a state of the art facility. Please, go raise it!

    • Fencing alum

      And yet when it came time to cut varsity programs, this one wasn’t on the chopping block but fencing and wrestling were….