Squash wins last home match

by Cecily Kaya | 2/6/07 6:00am

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Four senior classmates and a number of other team members finished their Dartmouth squash careers Sunday.
by Danny Gobaud / The Dartmouth

The benches and guardrails overflowed with spectators who cheered on the athletes -- particularly the eight graduating seniors -- in their final matches. The outgoing seniors were honored in a brief ceremony attended by President Wright and his wife, Susan, commemorating their dedication and achievements on the team.

"It was our last chance to represent Dartmouth at home," said James Crandell '07, the co-captain of the men's team who played at the No. 9 spot. "I think I played with a little more emotion on every point because of it. I could feel the rest of the team step up and put in the extra effort to send off the seniors on a high note."

Crandell, the sole victor of the four senior captains, won in four games against Brown's Alex Heitzman.

Avery Eyre '07 and Frances Battin '07 put together spirited fights against their opponents, but each fell just short of a win. Eyre was especially close to victory, losing by just two points in the first game and three in the third.

"It wasn't my best match," Eyre said. "But I'm happy that the team won and that's what's most important in the long run. Squash is such an individual sport but each point counts for the team."

Battin also had mixed feelings about her last home match.

"I just wish I hadn't let my emotions take over and had been able to play my normal game," she said. "But it was a great end to the season with a tough match but ultimate victory. The girls fought hard for their 6-3 win."

Co-captain Todd Wood '07 played a long and emotional match at the No. 1 spot against Brown's Dan Petrie. The top players each took a game from the other and in the third, Wood topped Petrie 10-8, giving him a one-game advantage going into the fourth game.

At this point it was clear that Wood slightly outclassed his opponent, but fatigue and nagging injuries plagued the senior in his last two games. A crowd gathered as Wood tried to win through determination, but it was apparent that his body would not let him complete the match. Assistant coach Glen Wilson had to step in to order Wood to forfeit.

The No. 2, 3, 4 and 5 spots filled by Andrew Boumford '09, Ted Newhouse '09, Adam King '08, and Dan Wagman '10, respectively, were each victorious in three games, securing a win for the men's team and an invitation to the College Squash Association Championship. The team will face old foes such as Trinity, Princeton, Harvard, Yale, Penn, Western Ontario and Williams in the tournament, which features the best teams in the country.

King held his opponent to a maximum of four points throughout the entire match, while Boumford, Newhouse and Shrubb displayed similar feats of dominance over their opponents.

The matches of Tyler Young '09 and William Nix '07 required a little more effort, but in the end the paircontributed to the team's point total.

The women's win put the Big Green into the Howe Cup, an annual women's squash team tournament. The team will be seeded No. 6 in the draw and will also meet up against opponents from matches earlier in the season.

Ashley Malenchak '08 dropped her first game but came back strong to sweep the next three, picking up a win for Dartmouth at the No. 1 spot. Rebecca Loucks '08, Madeline Lurio '09, Libbey Brown '10 and Heather Lisle '07 all put up easy points for the Big Green.

Emilie Mackie '07 fought her way to a win through five difficult games. She lost the first, but then rallied back in the next two games to take the lead over Brown. Her comeback win drew a rather large crowd that cheered the senior on in her final home match.

Head coach John Powers was pleased with the outcome of the match.

"Historically we've always had good match-ups against Brown. It's nice to get two wins over them since their recruiting is comparable to ours as are their squash players," he said.

Princeton and Penn, top contenders in the squash circuit, are up next for the Big Green squash teams. Dartmouth will be on the road this weekend to face down the hefty competition from the Tigers at 12 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 10 and the Quakers at 11 a.m. on Sunday, Feb. 11, in hopes that the squads' winning streaks will carry them through the final leg of their season.

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