Squash teams smash opponents in home tourney
On Saturday, both teams took on Tufts University, Colby College, Connecticut College and Bowdoin College. On Friday night, the men's team faced the United States Naval Academy while the women's team played Mount Holyoke College and Connecticut College.
The highlight of the weekend occurred in the first match of the Classic, in which the No. 9 Big Green men punished a Navy squad with a perfect record, 9-0.
Making the win even more significant was the fact that the Big Green played without the help of its top player co-captain Andrew Boumford '09.
"I thought the team responded incredibly well to the loss of our best player for the weekend," co-captain Ted Newhouse '09 said. "Everyone knew they had to step up, and they did."
Newhouse did his part to fill the void at the top, stepping up to defeat the Navy's No. 1 Nils Mattsson in straight sets.
The senior captain played nearly flawlessly, forcing the noticeably in-shape Mattsson, who is training to become a Navy SEAL, to play defensively the entire match.
"Ted moved Nils all around the court, neutralizing the fitness advantage that he had," Nick Sisodia '12 said. "He really was able to control the T."
Sisodia also played well spot for Dartmouth against Navy at the No. 2 in his collegiate debut. After a rough start that led to a quick loss in the first game, the freshman was able to rebound and take the next three games over Navy sophomore Allan Lutz.
The game Sisodia lost to Lutz was one of just two games the Big Green let Navy win the entire match.
Winning in straight sets for Dartmouth were Brian O'Toole '12, Mike Lewis '11, Mike Shrubb '10, Steve Wetherill '12, Tyler Young '09 and Dan Wagman '10. Luke Lee '12 was able to edge his opponent in four games.
Giving credit to his teammates, Newhouse cited several players for their exceptional play in unusually high lineup spots.
"I thought Mike [Shrubb] and Brian [O'Toole] played exceptionally well on the weekend," Newhouse said. "They were forced to play much higher than they normally would, and they played really well."
The Navy match was a harbinger of things to come on Saturday for the Big Green men, who tore through their Saturday opponents by sweeping all three matches by identical 9-0 scores.
After going 9-0 on Friday night, the Dartmouth men went a combined 35-1 on Saturday. The only loss came in the last match of the day, when Newhouse dropped a tough match at the No. 1 spot to Antonio Diaz of Connecticut College, one of the top junior players in Mexico.
Although the opponents were weaker than the rest of the Ivy League teams that the Big Green will face later in the season, the domination this weekend could be a sign of good things to come for Dartmouth squash.
"I think that this weekend proves that this is the strongest squads that has passed through Dartmouth in a very long time," Newhouse said. "We have historically beaten these teams, but we have never done it with as much ease as we just did. If we keep playing the way we are now, we have the potential to beat some teams that we have never even been close to."
The Dartmouth women shared in the men's success, dominating the Classic in the same fashion.
Their lone loss came on Friday night, when captain Madeline Lurio '09 was defeated by Mount Holyoke's Pamela Anckerman, who is a top junior player from Guatemala.
Each player on the women's team went undefeated from that point on, sweeping their respective opponents a collective 36-0 on Saturday on the way to four easy wins.
"Overall, the team did great this weekend," Lurio said. "We were playing teams that were definitely weaker than us, but no one let up at all."
The variety of play was good for the Big Green, as all of the players in the lineup got valuable experience while the team was still able to win handily.
"It was really good practice for us before we head off for Thanksgiving," Lurio said. "Everyone got to play a lot of matches and play different spots throughout the ladder, which is really great experience for everyone, especially the younger girls on the team."
The younger players Lurio referred to played well in their collegiate debuts, with Heather Binnie '12, Allie Bradford '12, Caroline Lindseth '12 and Julia Watson '12 all going undefeated on the weekend.
Although the competition will become tougher from this point on, Lurio remains optimistic that the experience gained in the Classic bodes well for the rest of the season.
"This weekend also gave us a first taste of what it will be like competing for the rest of the season, and I think it made the team very excited to come back from break and really start the season off strong," Lurio said.
Both the men's and women's teams will be in action on Wednesday, Dec. 3 when they face Harvard in Cambridge, Mass.