Feigning a drop shot, seventh seed Alexander Schwartz ’19 hammered a rail into the back of the court, just out of his St. George’s opponent’s reach. Schwartz went on to win his match 3-0, earning the team’s only win in its 6-1 loss on Wednesday. Andover’s record now stands at 3-10.
Third seed Ishaan Patel ’18 said, “St. George’s is a really experienced team. The kids on the team play a ton more squash than the kids on our team, so their technique and strategy was just overall better than ours. We had a hard time adapting to their strengths, and they had a fairly easy time recognizing our weaknesses and capitalizing on them.”
Andover’s lower-seeded players were more equally rivaled against their St. George’s opponents than were Andover’s higher seeds.
Captain and second seed Jack Quamme ’16 said, “St. George’s is a pretty strong team, especially at the top.But going down the ladder, matches got a lot closer which was good to see.”
Fourth seed Jerry Yang ’17 said, “We can definitely improve. Not a lot of us played over the long weekend, so we hadn’t played squash in four or five days. So I think it only goes up from here.”
With High School Nationals coming up this weekend, the team hopes to break its losing streak by honing in on its mental game.
First seed Alex Bernhard ’19 said, “I think the match was a reality check because we have Nationals coming up, and I think we really struggled with playing consistent squash, which was tough after a two hour car ride. I think that’s something that we’ve got to focus on: being able to play more consistently.”
Patel said, “I think now, heading towards the end of the season, we have to focus on the mental aspect more. Our technique is pretty good, our strategy is pretty good, but a lot of squash is that mental edge and maintaining your focus, so I think heading into Nationals, we have to keep that mental edge.”
Andover will compete as the 16th seed in Nationals from Thursday through Sunday in Philadelphia.
Quamme said, “Really, we’ve got nothing to lose, and we’re just looking to beat expectations, which I really think that this team can do. I think that we’ve underperformed. I think that we’ve underperformed in the first part of the season, and so we’re in a good position to exceed those expectations.”