The UR squash team became the Conroy Division Champion for the second year in a row at the Collegiate Squash Association team championships held at Princeton University this past weekend.

UR beat Haverford College 6-3 in the quarterfinals and Wesleyan University 6-3 in the semifinals on Saturday. They then defeated rival Vassar College 6-3 in the championship match later that same day. These wins gave UR a five game winning streak and the team is now ranked 25th nationally.

During the Wesleyan match, UR won five of the first six positions in straight sets. Junior Elie Biel provided the sixth win at the No. 9 position, 9-7, 9-1, 5-9, 10-8.

“The team is very strong at No. 1 [sophomore] Pat Harris, No. 5 [freshman] Ori Goldman, six [freshman] Dan Carson, and nine Biel with all four players posting 100 percent wins throughout the weekend,” Head coach Martin Heath said. “There were very strong performances by No. 2 [sophomore] Ravi Gupta, three [senior] Jay Acharya and eight [senior] Drew Aldrich that clinched the title for the Yellowjackets.”

Vassar arrived at the finals by beating Northwestern University 5-4 in the semifinals. During the Vassar game, Biel won a close match at the No. 9 position 9-6, 10-8, 9-4. Aldrich dominated his opponent in the first two games and came away with a 9-2, 9-2, 10-8 win at the No. 8 position. Freshman Rob Pakan, at No. 7, lost 9-4, 10-8, 9-0.

Carson dominated his opponent, winning 3-0 at the No. 6 position. At No. 4, Goldman came back from losing the opener 9-1 but went on to win 9-6, 9-7, 9-1.

Sophomore Jamie Lynn, at the No. 4 position, lost 3-1. Lynn won the first set 10-8, but lost 9-6, 9-7, 9-5. Acharya, at the No. 3 position, won 3-0. Gupta was upended 3-0 at No. 2 and Harris completed the win with a 9-5, 9-4, 4-9, 9-4 victory.

Acharya and Beil won the scholar-athlete awards, given to the players who display a combination of strong play and high academic achievement. Acharya ended his career on a high note, going undefeated over the weekend.

“There were solid performances by our whole team,” Harris said. “It was great to finish the season on such a high note.”

Coach Heath agrees with Harris about the season ending on such a high note but hates to see it come to an end. “The team has made such vast strides in the past six weeks that it seems a shame to end the season at this point,” he said. “Though with a string of sophomores and freshmen, next season looks to be an even more successful journey for the Yellowjackets in their quest to break into the top 20 teams in the nation.”

The team will not compete until the first week in March, when they will compete at the Collegiate Squash Association Individual Championships at Amherst College.

Lasonde can be reached at blasonde@campustimes.org.Additional reporting by Alex Moeller.



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