Victories Come in Consolation Play
The Harvard men’s squash team (9-6, 3-3 Ivy) sent seven players to Dartmouth this weekend for the CSA individual championships. Contrary to the Crimson’s high expectations, it found most of its victories in consolation play.
“It’s been a disappointing weekend,” senior Richard Hill said. “But we had a lot of good quality squash and we all played 110 percent.”
In the Pool or “A” Division, rookie Gary Power ended the weekend with a loss in the second-round consolation final to Princeton’s Kelly Shannon. Power had been seeded fifth.
Power won in the first round against the Tigers’ Peter Sopher, 11-7, 11-8, 11-7. But 13th-seeded Christopher Binnie from Trinity then pulled off an upset in the following round.
“[It was a] tough loss in the second round,” sophomore Alexander Ma said. “But he came back to finish 10th, which is a great finish for a freshman.”
It was in second-round consolation play that Power began his comeback. He dropped the first game to 12th-seed Thomas Spettigue from Cornell but then rallied to win the next three, 11-4, 11-0, 11-1. Power went on to face Rochester’s Andres Duany, who took the first two games, 11-7, 11-6.
But Power rose to the pressure and came back to pull out victories in the next three games. His stride broke in the next round when he faced Shannon in the consolation final. Although Power pushed him to five by winning the second and third games, Shannon still came out with the win, 11-1, 11-8, 11-6, 11-5, 11-6.
“I think that [Power] played well in his last match, but you had to give his opponent some credit,” Hill said. “In the end, [Shannon] just had it…but [Power] gave him a tough fight.”
The other three competitors in the Pool Division all ended up in the first-round consolation bracket, as none of them found first-round victories.
“It’s disappointing to lose in the early rounds,” said Ma, who competed in the Molloy or “B” Division. “But you still have to go out there and play hard for your team and for Harvard.”
Freshman Brandon McLaughlin lost to eighth-seeded Gabriel De Melo from Franklin & Marshall in the first round. He then rebounded in the first-round consolation bracket, snatching the win from Dartmouth’s Nicholas Sisodia despite losing the third set, 12-10, 11-7, 11-7, 11-7. But McLaughlin was knocked out in the next round by Trinity’s Antonio Diaz Glez.
Captain Reed Endresen, meanwhile, fell to Kenneth Chan from Yale in the first round of the main bracket. He the faced F&M’s Guilherme De Melo, who defeated him in five. Hill was dropped down to consolation play by Andres Vargas from Trinity, and he was finished off by Dartmouth’s Christopher Hanson in consolation play.
“I think overall it was a disappointing weekend,” Hill said. “We came in with very high expectations, but that being said, the freshman class has a lot of potential.”
Rookie Nigel Koh was the only one to make it to past the second round in either division, reaching the semifinals of the Molloy Division.
All three Crimson representatives in the Molloy league received byes in first-round play and went straight to the second round.