Boys Squash, Sports

Andover Struggles Without First Seed Alex Bernhard ’19

Faking a rail, sixth seed Sean Kim ’18 placed a drop shot at the front of the court, safely out of his Phillips Exeter Academy opponent’s reach. Although Kim lost his match 3-1, he claimed the only winning game for Andover in its 7-0 loss to Exeter on Wednesday. On Saturday, Andover suffered losses to Choate and Westminster with scores of 7-0 and 5-2, respectively. The team’s record now stands at 3-8.

Andover attributes its losses mainly due to the absences of its first and fourth seeds, Alex Bernhard ’19 and Jerry Yang ’17, respectively.

In an email to The Phillipian, Head Coach Tom Hodgson wrote, “The main factor was injury. Our number one, Alex Bernhard [’19], was hobbled in the first match against Westminster and unavailable for the second match against Choate. Our number four, Jerry Yang [’17], was unavailable for both matches. Our effort was fine, but our skill level and level of experience was too low.”

Kim said, “Injuries definitely hurt us. All the Westminster matches were really close. My games were all deuces or 11-9. Long, quality rallies made us really tired, so Choate had the advantage later.”

Against Exeter, Andover faced the same challenge, with two of its players still missing.

Third seed David Tsai ’18 said, “This is just a building point for us, and we can’t dwell on a loss like this. We have to keep looking forward.”

Fifth seed Alexander Schwartz ’19 said, “Overall, the match did not go that well. But at the same time, I think the team did a good job of staying composed even when we weren’t playing our best squash.”

Despite its three losses, the team remains confident looking forward. Andover looks to redeem its loss to Exeter the next time the two teams meet at the end of the season.

With a home-court advantage, Andover hopes to break its losing streak in its match against Brooks this Friday.

Feb 5, 2016