Dominant squash team crushes opposition in six-game sweep

No. 13 men slide past Colby while No. 11 women cruise past White Mules, Polar Bears

Contributing Writer
Friday, January 30, 2015

Oliver Booth ’16 returns an opposition hit. After an inconsistent start to the season, the Bears rebounded this week, winning games against NESCAC opponents.

The men’s and women’s squash teams kicked off this semester in great form last week, sweeping both Colby and Bowdoin over the weekend and beating Amherst Wednesday night. The No. 11 women are now 4-2 on the season, while the No. 13 men move to 5-2.

Action began last Friday night, with the men winning a tight 5-4 contest over Colby (8-2). The match was ultimately decided at the number-one slot, where Jack Blasberg ’16, a Herald sports columnist, defeated William McBrian 11-7, 11-7, 9-11, 11-4. Other Bruno players to record wins were Alexander Baldock ’17, Thomas Blecher ’18, Michael Snower ’17 and Charlie Blasberg ’18, who is also a Herald sports columnist.

“I was able to go out there and shut out the pressure,” said Jack Blasberg. “And I was happy that I could come away with a win for my teammates.”

The women had a slightly less stressful night, cruising to a 9-0 victory over the White Mules (5-6). The Bears were led by number-one player Quincy Beck ’18, who won decisively 11-3, 11-6, 11-6.

Saturday, not much changed for the women, who once again displayed their dominance in a 9-0 win over Bowdoin (5-8). It was a spectacular effort by the Bears, as they did not drop a single set on the day. Mina Shakarshy ’15 was particularly impressive, giving up just 10 points over the course of her entire match.

Shakarshy noted that the team felt confident coming into the season after the winter recess. “We worked really hard over break — we trained a lot,” she said. “And it really showed in our efforts, competing and winning matches. We really put a lot into it.”

The men followed suit by besting the Polar Bears (1-11) by the same 9-0 margin later that day.

When asked what made the difference from the previous night, Jack Blasberg said the team “really wanted to go out on Saturday and show that there was a little more in them.”

Wednesday proved no different for either team, as both won once again. The women collected a third consecutive 9-0 victory to cement their strong early-season results. The Bears dropped only four games in the process, with Beck losing just three points in her individual match.

Shakarshy said it can be easy for a team to look past an opponent, but she was happy with the way they managed themselves throughout their recent string of successes.

“It can be really easy to play down,” she said. “We have to have the attitude of treating every match as the same, no matter if we are supposed to win or lose.”

The men took eight of nine matches on the day, with Baldock standing out after a thrilling comeback win at the second position. Down two games to none, Baldock dominated the third game 11-1 and ultimately prevailed.

All in all, it was a promising week for both teams, which will look to continue climbing up the rankings when they travel to Williams (men 8-6 and women 9-5) Friday.

Jack Blasberg said he felt things are heading in the right direction, though both teams need to stay focused.

“We can’t really rest on our laurels,” he said. “We need to keep going out there and compete and try to make the most out of our opportunities.”


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