Squash team dominates Amherst as it prepares for road trip

by Matthew Mackey | 1/21/05 6:00am

After a couple of tough losses to formidable foes Yale and Trinity College last weekend, the Big Green returned to its winning ways as both the men and women's squash teams defeated Amherst on Wednesday. The women went undefeated in a 9-0 victory, while the men posted a solid 7-2 win.

Dartmouth has crushed Amherst over the past five years, and continued that trend this year. The Big Green women, who improved to 5-3 on the season, were far too much for Amherst to handle.

"[We] played intelligently and our fitness and hard training was evident in the quick three game matches with our Amherst opponents," Julia Drury '06 said. Drury played one of the team's tougher matchups, but despite taking a racquet to the face she persevered and defeated her opponent.

Freshmen standouts Christie Alexander, Ashley Malenchak and sophomore Avery Eyre all performed very well as Dartmouth's second, third and fifth positions, respectively, displaying a the level of young talent that will be playing for the Big Green for years to come.

The men had several challenging matches, but still outplayed Amherst by a considerable margin as they increased their record to 6-3. Men's co-captain Ryan Donegan '05 never allowed Amherst's top-seeded player to score, indicating a gap between the best players of the two schools.

"The top of our lineup was much stronger than that of Amherst, based on the 3-0 victory from the steadily improving Todd Wood '07 at number two, and another 3-0 victory from the solid play of Hank Alexander '06 at position three," Donegan said. "We received another easy victory at number four with freshman phenom Adam King '08 providing a variety of touch and power shots."

Dartmouth's only losses came at the eighth and ninth positions, but despite their losses Donegan said he is certain that James Crandell '07 and Scott Kennedy '05 will be "in a groove" by the end of the season. Donegan, Dartmouth's top player, will be heading to Greenwich, Ct., this weekend to play in the Greenwich Open, a selection event for the U.S. men's squash team playing in the World Team Championships in Pakistan in December.

"Everyone performed very well," Dartmouth squash coach John Power said, noting that the women's and men's teams are both poised to do well against their competition this season.

As the remainder of the squash season is so short, there is not a lot that can be changed on the team at this point.

Power said winning upcoming matches would ultimately be "a question of keeping everyone healthy and focused and rested."

The Big Green men and women will now begin a stretch of away matches, starting on Jan. 29, as they travel to Cornell to play at 10 a.m., with the men then heading to Hobart to play the University of Western Ontario at 5 p.m. later that afternoon.

Cornell and UWO should both prove to be good matchups for the Big Green men, as both teams are currently ranked slightly higher than Dartmouth at sixth and fifth places respectively to Dartmouth's eighth. The women and men will also be tested in the coming weeks with fellow Ivies Princeton and Penn looming on the horizon.

The Big Green squash team's next home match will be on Feb. 13 against Brown at 2:00 p.m. on the upper level of the John W. Berry Sports Center.