The UR men’s squash team played two tough matches last weekend against Hobart College, William Smith College and St. Lawrence University.
On Saturday, UR did not expect to beat Hobart because they were positioned several spots above the Yellowjackets as No. 13 in the nation.
The last time the Yellowjackets played Hobart, UR’s No. 1 freshman Patrick Harris managed to defeat Hobart senior Tejvire Rathore.
During last weekend’s contest, though, Rathore was able to edge past Harris, winning with a score of 10-9 in the fourth and final game.
Hobart took the match compellingly, 9-0. Regardless of the end result, Head Coach David Kay said that playing against Hobart was a good opportunity for UR to prepare for their next match against St. Lawrence.
“All in all, the match [against Hobart] was a good tune-up for Sunday’s match versus St. Lawrence and the team was excited, well aware that this was our opportunity to sneak into the third division and take over the No. 24 position,” Kay said.
To play in the more competitive third division at the nationals at Harvard University at the end of the month, No. 25 UR would have had to beat SLU on Sunday afternoon. Unfortunately, SLU beat the Yellowjackets, 6-3. Despite the loss, the Yellowjackets had several strong performances during the match.
Senior Gen Izumida, playing in the No. 2 spot, beat Keith Merrill, whom he had lost to 0-3, earlier in the season. This time, Izumida was able to beat Merrill, 3-0.
“Gen deserves a lot of credit for his hard work this season and he is learning that work ethic and tenacity often mean more than racquet skills and textbook strategies,” Kay said.
Playing in the No. 7 position, freshman Jamie Lynn won his match in five games, despite being down 0-2. His efforts this season have not gone unnoticed by his teammates or coach.
“Jamie has been the hardest worker on the team this season and this result is a telling reflection of his improvement this season,” Kay said.
UR’s last win of the day came from freshman Ben Hewson, playing in the No. 9 spot. He won his match, 3-1, and “has turned himself into a player we can rely on to win the tough matches,” Kay said. “He has made a quantum leap with his game this season and has dramatically increased his speed on court.”
Although the Yellowjackets pulled out three wins this weekend, they were not enough to give UR the match.
“Unfortunately, we needed two more superlative performances and this may have been too much to ask,” Kay said. “The St. Lawrence team played well and outplayed us at the other positions.”
“We now head to Harvard for the team nationals, where we will compete for the Division IV championship,” Kay continued. “We will face tough competition there and need to be at our best to beat GWU.”
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