Boys Squash Beats the Big Red In Spite of Simonton’s Absence

The Boys Squash team had yet another banner week. The boys tallied two wins on the week, the first came against Groton, a known squash powerhouse. The boys returned Wednesday against archrival Exeter. Though PEA has struggled on the season, the Andover match up undoubtedly brings out the best in the Big Red. Groton was a tough match, as it was expected to be from the start. Although they had lost to St. George’s, a team Andover beat, they had also managed to down Belmont Hill, a squad which just overcame PA, 4-3. The even-numbered players played first, along with Dave Morse ’04 at number seven, who happened to win his match quickly. Jeff Wessler ’03 won at number 4, winning the first easily, and squeaking out a win in the second 10-8. Then he finished it in the third, going 3-0 for the second Andover win. Co-Captain Will Simonton ’03 at number 2 also won, after a long three-gamer against his opponent, with the first game and many of the points quite close. Trying to clinch the match, Harry Goldstein ’05 at number 6 just could not pull it off, dropping three games to his experienced opponent, for Andover’s first defeat. Dan Wagman ’06 followed with another quick loss, dropping his match in three to a very strong number five from Groton. In the end, two matches stretched to five games, of which Andover needed to win only one to win the match. Co-Captain Will Walter ’03 went on first, playing a tough match against Groton’s number one. As this was going on, Elliot Beck ’05 went on against his opponent at number three. Walter won his first game, making a win seem inevitable. But after a loss in the second, and Beck’s first game loss, it did not seem so sure. However, Beck came back from behind to win the second and third, dropped the fourth, and narrowly escaped defeat with a 9-7 win in the fifth game to clinch the win for Andover. No longer under any pressure to win, Walter relaxed, and once it was tied 2 all in the fifth, he came up with a big win, solidifying his reputation as a strong number one player. With this strong win, a confident Andover squad went off to Exeter to play against the Big Red. With a 7-0 victory earlier in the year, PA was confident, but sadly Simonton at number two could not play due to sickness. Numbers one, four and seven played first, and as Kirk Lepke ’04 and Walter jumped ahead of their opponents, Wagman fell behind in a frustrating loss. However, now up two, Andover had a much easier task ahead of them. Beck downed his opponent in a frustrating match. However, Goldstein lost, and Andover needed one more win to clinch an 11-1 season. Both Wessler and Morse aided the task, as each added quick 3-0 victories. Commenting on the match on Friday, Wagman remarked that, “It was exciting going out there against a team proven to be strong, but we pulled it off after a shaky start, making a strong showing at a crucial time. With Interschols approaching, we need to play the best squash we’ve played all year, and I think that we managed to do just that.” On that note, Squash goes into Inter-Scholastics this weekend at Yale. There is much hope on Academy Hill for a high finish, as Simonton, Beck and Wessler all go into ‘schols undefeated at their numbers. The boys will receive excellent seedings, which promises an easier going in the earlier rounds. All in all, the season will not be complete if the boys fail to return a championship trophy to Andover.