Coming off their winter break trip to Canada, the UR squash team was back in action over the weekend as they faced both Colby College and Yale University, ranked nineteenth and fourth in the country, respectively.
After a dominant performance on Friday, Jan. 18 against Colby in which the Yellowjackets earned a 9-0 victory, the team suffered a setback against Yale, falling 6-3 the following day. Against Colby, the number five ranked ‘Jackets got out to a quick start and never looked back, cruising to a shutout win in which not a single set was lost. Perhaps the most impressive individual performance came from freshman Meng Xiaomen who defeated Darryl Soto 11-1, 11-1, 11-1 at the number seven position.
In one of the day’s tighter encounters, Rochester’s top player senior Andres Duany, who is currently ranked number six in the nation by the College Squash Association, had to battle to overcome CJ Smith with scores of 12-10, 11-4, 11-7.
Following Duany in the lineup were freshmen Neil Cordell and Faraz Khan, as well as senior Adam Perkiomaki, who also raced to comfortable victories. Following them were senior Oscar Lopez, junior Karm Kumar, Meng, freshman William Mohr, and senior Juan Herrera, each of whom contributed to Rochester’s convincing win.
After their dominant win on Friday, the ‘Jackets had a much more difficult time the following day against the Yale Bulldogs. Among the strong spots were the performances of Cordell and Meng, who both fought hard to win five set matches.
Cordell came back from two sets down to defeat thirtieth ranked Hywel Robinson 5-11, 7-11, 11-4, 11-4, 11-3 at the number two position, while Meng won a back-and-forth battle with ninety-sixth ranked Eric Caine with scores of 11-8, 8-11, 11-6, 5-11, 11-5 at position seven. Also winning for UR was Perkiomaki, who took out forty-third ranked Neil Martin at the fourth position.
In addition to the three wins, two other matches went to five sets, showing how little separated the two teams. At the first position, Duany barely fell to Kenneth Chan 11-7 in the fifth set, while at position six, it was Kumar who narrowly missed a victory against the Bulldogs’ Zachary Leman.
With the split weekend, Rochester moves to a 7-3 record this season, with their only three loses coming to the Ivy League powerhouses of Harvard University, Princeton University, and Yale University. The ‘Jackets will look to end that losing trend as they take on another Ivy League rival at Cornell University on Wednesday, Jan. 23 at 6 p.m. in Ithaca, NY.
Shapiro is a member of the class of 2016.