Men’s and women’s squash go 1-2 on the road this weekend

by Emily Wechsler | 1/13/15 4:56pm

The men’s and women’s squash teams each had busy weekends, both beating Drexel University and falling to the University of Pennsylvania, ranked no. 3 in women’s, and Princeton University, ranked no. 9 in men’s and no. 5 in women’s. The Big Green no. 8 men (2-4, 0-3) and no. 10 women (1-4, 0-3) beat Drexel 7-2 and 5-4, respectively. The men fell to Penn 7-2 and Princeton 6-3, while the women fell to both 9-0, though Hanna Balcha ’17 won the exhibition match against Penn in a long, tough five-game battle.

Head coach Hansi Wiens said the Drexel score made the women’s match, played Friday at the Dragons’ Kline and Specter Squash Center, look closer than it felt. The team secured the fifth game and the overall victory early on in the match with a score of 5-1 before the final three women took the court.

“This was a tough weekend for us,” Helena Darling ’15 said. “We beat Drexel, but it was close. Princeton and Penn are very strong teams, so we focused on winning games and as many points as possible in individual games.”

Darling , Oona Morris ’15 , Zainab Molani ’18 , Rebecca Brownell ’18 and Madeline Fraser ’17 picked up the wins for the Big Green.

In the other women’s matches over the weekend, the team “didn’t really have a chance,” Wiens said.

Wiens complimented the mens’ play against Drexel, saying they worked well as a team. The dominant score came as a pleasant surprise, he said. Alvin Heumann ’18 played the most exciting match of the day, battling back from a two-game deficit to win in the fifth game.

In an equally tough five-game match, Nicholas Harrington ’17 fell just short of winning the final game, dropping it 11-5, 10-12, 7-11, 11-8, 11-3. The only other loss came to Alexander Greer ’16 in three games.

Saturday, at the Quakers’ Ringe Squash Courts, the men looked stronger than predicted. The first match boded well as Heumann went and claimed another victory in the fifth game. Three other matches went to five games as well, though Mark Funk ’15, Greer and Glen Brickman ’17 all fell to their Penn opponents. Kyle Martino ’16 picked up the team’s second win in three games.

“I told them after that I was proud of the way they played [and] what they did, but it was not enough,” Weins said.

The match also took far longer than usual, lasting about three and a half hours, compared to the usual two and a half.

Weins said that on paper the men looked like they would have a good chance against Princeton at the Jadwin Squash Courts on Sunday.

“Some of [the athletes] looked a little bit tired, maybe, I don’t know,” he said. “There was a little frustration.”

Brian Giegerich ’18 lost in five games, “but played really well [and] gave everything,” Wiens said. Harrington and Brickman also lost very tight matches, with Harrington, according to Wiens, playing particularly well against difficult opponents throughout the weekend.

Martino and Heumann won their matches in three games and went undefeated on the weekend.

“I just went out there, tried to play my game and focus on what the coaches told me to work on,” Martino said. “We had already lost our overall matches by the time I went out, so I didn’t have as much pressure to win.”

Coach Wiens said the coming weekend’s matches will be particularly crucial for the women. They will face Stanford University on Saturday, followed by a match against George Washington University on Sunday.

The Dartmouth men will play the University of Rochester on the road Sunday.