After his Tabor opponent hit a tight drive down the rail, first seed Alex Bernhard ’19 reverse-boasted the ball across the court to win the point. Over the weekend, Andover Boys Squash secured a 4-3 victory against Tabor and a 5-2 victory against Choate. On Wednesday, the team lost 5-2 to Belmont Hill. Andover’s record now stands at 2-1.
Against Tabor, the team’s four wins were secured by the bottom four players on the team. Despite only losing one player from last year, the team has expanded to carry ten players. According to Sean Kim ’18, fifth seed, Andover has depth this year; although the team is much larger, the skill level between players on the ladder is very similar.
Kim said, “We have a very deep ladder, with about 5-6 guys that can play at any part of the ladder. That means that when we play other teams, our bottom 4 usually face much easier opponents.”
In an email to The Phillipian, Captain David Tsai ’18, second seed, commended Kim, on his play against Tabor.
Tsai wrote, “All the guys played well, but Sean Kim stood out because he played the deciding match for Andover. He beat the Tabor player in the fourth game and really pulled through for us with some unbelievable play… Sean Kim was the highlight of the match; he won the final match against Tabor and really set the tone for second match against Choate.”
Andover came out of the season opener with a 2-0 record, ensuring confidence in the matches to come.
“The matches against Tabor and Choate both went very well for the team. It was the perfect start, as we came out with a 2-0 weekend. We could’ve done better with more practice and training together as a team, but I couldn’t be happier for how we started the season,” wrote sixth seed Jack Lee ’20, in an email to The Phillipian.
Andover faced a challenging opponent in its third match of the season. Historically a strong team, including an 8-0 victory over Andover last season, Belmont Hill posed a threat to Andover early on.
“This was certainly a winnable match for us. They were the more confident team on the court. We need to start getting in the mindset that upsets do happen, and that at this level of squash, any team can come up with the win. With wins at [third seed] and [seventh seed], we know that this was a winnable match,” said Kim.
Tsai said, “We headed to the match with the mindset that we had to leave everything out on the table when we played them. I am beyond excited to play against such high competition in the future, and I know all the guys will play really well.”
This season, Andover welcomes Head Coach John Roberts to the team. According to Kim, Coach Roberts has introduced several aspects of play.
Kim said, “Coach Roberts has been giving us a lot of coaching points on match strategy which we are trying hard to implement into our games, such as controlling pace on shots and using the two-wall boasts effectively. Through practices and these games, we are improving on these aspects tremendously.”
The team will play Milton next Wednesday.
Editor’s Note: Alex Bernhard is an Associate Eighth Page Editor for The Phillipian.