Coming into the match against Trinity College in Connecticut on Friday, sophomore Will Newnham knew he had nothing to lose.

‘The pressure was all on them,” he said. ‘We could just go out there and really give it our best.”

Newnham was the only UR player to take a match from the visiting Trinity Bantams, who are ranked No. 1 in the country by the Collegiate Squash Association and have five players ranked in the top 10 in the nation in the CSA poll.

Still, UR’s 1-8 defeat was not as lopsided as the score might suggest. At the No. 3 spot, sophomore Hameed Ahmed took his opponent Manek Mathur to five games the only Yellowjacket to do that besides Newnham. In both the No. 1 and No. 2 positions, junior Jim Bristow and freshman Beni Fischer made their opponents work for their wins, dropping matches by close scores.

Newnham’s victory came at the No. 6 spot against Trinity’s Supreet Singh. After two games, Singh had the momentum and a 2-0 lead over his ‘Jacket opponent.

‘The pace that he played at in the first [game] wore me down a bit, which led to him dominating the second,” Newnham said. ‘In the third, I knew that I had to change my game in order to come back and beat this guy, so I started delaying my shots and breaking up his movement, which seemed to be effective.”

The third set was hotly contested, but Newnham came away with a 9-7 victory and used that momentum to take the next two games, 9-2 and 9-5, respectively.

Head coach Martin Heath credited the win to Newnham for both his strong perseverance and the home-court advantage over 150 fans packed the squash courts on Friday night.

‘The local crowd were fantastic, and that helped drive him to a victory,” Heath said. ‘Hopefully, this will give him confidence for other victories.”

UR’s next home game is this Saturday against University of Pennsylvania.

‘It’s an interesting match, as the loser has the dubious honor of playing either Trinity or Princeton the two powerhouses of college squash the first round of Nationals,” Heath said. ‘Obviously, we would rather avoid them until further in the competition.”

Hilfinger is a member of the class of 2010.



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