The UR squash team played some jolly fine matches this weekend, winning versus Dartmouth College 7-2 on Sunday but falling to Trinity College Saturday.
The fearsome Trinity Bantams clucked out a 6-3 victory. They are undefeated in their last 233 matches, the longest such streak of any college sports team.
Rochester’s depth allowed them to irk out three five-set victories in the No. 6, 7 and 8 spots.
“The loss to [No. 2] Yale [the week before] was a shock to the system, and in some way this helped us to reconsider our preparation and mental approach,” coach Martin Heath said, “Add this to the fact that Trinity isn’t as strong as they have been in previous seasons.”
UR performed well even without one of its top players, the injured Andres Duany.
“Despite being without Andres, who has played between the No. 1 and No. 3 position most of this season, the team performed very well and ran Trinity very close,” Heath said.
Oscar Hidalgo Lopez, who won a tough five-set match in the No. 8 spot for the Yellowjackets, was the picture of poise before his game.
“The team worked well before the game, and I tried to keep focused all the time,” Lopez said. “It was very important to me to show my opponent that I wanted to win that match by not making unforced errors and fighting every rally.”
Despite Trinity’s continued dominance, the playing field has become much more level in the top ranks of squash, as Dartmouth and UR – — among numerous others — have drawn closer and closer to the reigning champion.
“Dartmouth is always a highly-competitive team and seems to be entrenched in the 6-8 ranked spots,” Heath said. “They have improved under new coach Hansi Wiens from Germany, so we didn’t underestimate the challenge.”
Rochester hopes to capitalize on the league’s increased competitiveness during this year’s championships.
“In previous years, we set our goal to be as highly seeded as possible to avoid playing Trinity in the semi-finals,” Heath said. “This year, it might not be such a bad thing for us to play them as all four top-ranked teams are close.”
Otis is a member of
the class of 2011.