PA Boys Squash Places Fifth at NE Interschols

The PA Boys Squash team ended its season at the Interscholastic tournament last Friday with victory after victory, only to find itself in fifth place. Although the team did not finish as highly as many players had expected, its performance still proved successful. Of the seven players, six were seeded and moved into the quarterfinals. Leading up to the match, the seedings of each player had been posted and the squad arrived at the Yale squash courts with a determination to win. Co-Captain Will Walter ’03 won the first match of the day for the Andover boys and the team continued the trend, winning match after match. Both Elliot Beck ’05 and Co-Captain Will Simonton ’03 trounced their opponents handily in the first round of matches. Dan Wagman ’06 suffered the only Big Blue loss of the day, falling to the hands of a very tough player. The scoring system for the Interscholastic Squash Tournament is slightly obscure. Each man entered receives one point. Each main draw win receives six points, a consolation win gets two points, and a loss, of course, yields no points. After seven matches, Andover was still competing for first place with a solid total of 43 points. In the next round, each Andover player won, thanks in part to fewer challenging matches, but also due to the boys’ hard work and dedication all season. After that round, Andover came up against its tougher opponents and scored an impressive 81 points total. However, the PA team had trouble in the quarterfinals, capturing only two wins. Walter, Beck, Harry Goldstein ’05, and Dave Morse ’04 all lost, and only Simonton and Jeff Wessler ’03 moved onto the semifinals. Walter lost a trying match against the first-seeded player, losing quickly in three. Beck went up against a player from Groton whom he had beaten before by a very close score, 9-7 in the fifth game. However, this time it was not fated to be, as Beck limped onto the court with an injured quadricep and left even worse, with a disgruntling 9-6 loss in the fifth. Goldstein was also met head-on with a tough opponent from Groton. The lower managed to win the first set, but then proceeded to drop the next three in a row for a brutal 3-1 loss. Morse also lost 3-1. He faced off with the first-ranked seed, and although he put up a commendable fight, keeping it close in every game, it was not to be. His opponent was just too good, and played consistently. Morse left with hopes of better luck next time. The two wins for Simonton and Wessler were easy, both 3-0. The two progressed into their respective “final four” matches. Wessler played against the number one seed, whom he had previously lost. However, that game had been close, as Wessler had fought tooth and nail for every point, and just been edged out in five games. He did not get a chance to prove himself this time, as he lost in a heartbreaking four-game match. Simonton kept up his winning streak, cruising on his way into his final match without having dropped a game. In the final, however, he went ahead 2-1 against a tough opponent and lost the fourth 9-8. After a full day of hard-fought squash matches, Simonton just did not have the energy to battle in that final set. Although the rest of the team urged him on, Simonton just could not beat it out. He lost, but still finished in a more-than-respectable second place in the tournament. All told, the Andover team had amassed 111 points, placing them in a noteworthy fifth place tie with Groton Academy. Milton took 4th with 112 points, and Choate Rosemary Hall was third with 113. Above them, for second and first, were Brunswick and Taft with 165 and 167 points, respectively. They are incredibly strong teams, and none of the members of Andover’s Squash team had really expected to be able to compete with them. However, the Andover team is proud of its strong finish and hopes to follow it up next year.