Junior Allen Fitzsimmons lost both of his matches at the NISRA Individual Squash championships last weekend at Princeton University, but he is happy that he made the trip to the tournament.

“It was a great experience,” Fitzsimmons said. “It was great to go see the country’s best.”

Fitzsimmons lost 3-1 to Greg Clement, ranked No. 40 in the country and the top player for Bowdoin College, and fell 3-0 to Dent Wilkins, the No. 5 player for second-ranked Princeton.

“I felt pretty good because [Clement] had beaten me pretty easily earlier in the year and I played him pretty close this time,” said Fitz-simmons, UR’s No. 1 player.

Fitzsimmons is also the No. 1 tennis player for UR. He started playing squash last season because only five players on the squash team had ever played before. He has picked it up quickly, and is glad he gave it a try.

“It’s a very fast-paced game and very addictive once you get the hang of it,” Fitzsimmons said.

Both tennis and squash are played with a racket and both require great hand-eye coordination, but the similarities end there.

“They’re two completely different sports. It’s a difficult transition from squash to tennis, but it’s worth it,” Fitzsimmons said. “The hand-eye coordination overlaps and that’s the big help.”

UR also competed in the NISRA Team Championships at Harvard University Friday through Sunday, Feb. 22-24. UR lost all three of their meets and finished 24th in the 36-team field.

“This year was definitely a building year because we lost our No. 1 and No. 2 players,” Fitzsimmons said. “Everybody’s grown a lot and next year we should be a top 20 competitior. We should be a much stronger team.”

Fitzsimmons also expects more of himself next year, especially after getting a glimpse of the best squash players in the country.

“The trip to nationals gave me a lot to shoot for.” Fitzsimmons said. “There’s always room for improvement and that’s pretty much what nationals showed me.”

“It’d be nice to be in the top 50 in the nation next year.”

Jacobs can be reached at bjacobs@campustimes.org.

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