This past weekend, the men’s squash team traveled to Harvard University to compete in the Conroy Division of Team Nationals. UR dominated in a number of matches, and the Yellowjackets left Boston with their first national championship since 1997.
UR’s first match of the weekend was against Massachusetts Institute of Technology. UR defeated MIT, 7-2, only losing their matches played by the No. 3 and No. 5 position players.
“We knew we were going to face tough competition and would have to be at our best to make it to the finals for a rematch against our rivals George Washington University,” Head Coach David Kay said. Having defeated MIT, UR next hoped to pull out a win against Haverford College in order to make it to the finals to play GWU.
“We thought this would be a tough match and the team was excited and prepared,” Kay said.
The match proved to be less challenging than they had expected, with UR dominating Haverford, 8-1.
Playing in the No. 9 spot, freshman Elie Biel played an exciting match, coming back from 2-0 games down, to win 10-8 in the fifth and final game.
After UR had beaten both MIT and Haverford, they found themselves in the position they had hoped for – in the finals of the Conroy Division, facing GWU for the title.
The players from GWU were fresh off a 6-3 win against Northwestern University and badly wanted to pay UR back after having lost to the Yellowjackets 5-4 last month.
“The match was tight to the finish and once again it was the bottom of the lineup that proved reliable,” Kay said. “The bottom of the lineup is mainly comprised of freshmen, who put forth a winning effort when it counted most.”
Freshman Jamie Lynn, playing the No. 6 position, won a tight match, 3-1.
“This capped off a remarkable season for the freshman who won every match that was in his reach in the finishing months of the season,” Kay said. “Freshmen Ravi Gupta and Ben Hewson also finished their excellent freshman seasons with victories at the number seven and number eight positions.”
No. 5 Jay Acharya had the “clinching win,” Kay said.
“Acharya was looking to salvage a somewhat disappointing season, having won very few matches. However, he came into the weekend determined to achieve great results. He won his matches against MIT and Haverford and concluded a great weekend by defeating his opponent from [GWU] in four close games.”
So, although UR’s normally dependable top players were not able to achieve critical wins, the Yellowjackets’ lower-ranked players came through, posting winning results.
“Despite losing the matches at the top four positions in convincing fashion, the team pulled out tough matches in the bottom positions to give us the win,” Kay said.
“I was very pleased with the team this weekend. We really came together and played smart, disciplined squash. We knew coming into the weekend that we would need to be at our best.”
Ogorek can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.