Men’s Squash beat three of its four opponents this past weekend 9–0, dropping only a close match to no. 4 St. Lawrence University 6–3. Three of the six games the Yellowjackets lost went beyond three sets and two went all the way to a fifth set.
Those victories come after the rough weekend of Jan. 27, when the then-no. 8 team lost 9–0 to no. 3 Harvard and fell in a heartbreaker to no. 7 Dartmouth.
“It was not our brightest moment,” sophomore player Rodrigo Porras said of the blowout losses.
His teammate, senior Ben Pitfield, called the losses one of the worst moments in recent years for the squash program.
The team had jumped out to a quick 3–0 lead against Dartmouth, but Dartmouth rallied to win the match. It was a painful pill to swallow for the ‘Jackets’ young roster, but they still believe that there’s more to be done this season.
“We can beat any team in the country,” said Pitfield. His teammates agreed.
It’s safe to say that nobody expected the team to be performing at the caliber that it was last year. The team lost two first team All-Americans and two more graduating seniors last year. One of the seniors was the individual runner-up at nationals last year. But despite these losses and what most people think outside of their team, the men are still confident they can perform at the highest level, make the playoffs, and win a championship. The playoffs take the top eight teams in the country for a tournament, and the winner of that tournament is crowned the national champion.
First-year player Ashley Davies emphasized that the team had gotten good training in during the week. The morale was high, and the men were excited. Their season is by no means over, and they were embracing the underdogs role.
After the losses suffered against Dartmouth and Harvard, Rochester still has some work to do to secure a spot in the tournament, with plenty of highly ranked opponents left on the schedule. Davies, Pitfield, and Porras were all in agreement that the remaining opponents on their schedule are an opportunity to get back into the mix and that they intended to do just that. They play no. 1 Trinity College, no. 7 Princeton, and no. 15 Cornell over the coming weeks.