PA Squash Rides Through Brooks, Bows to Belmont

Last Saturday, PA Squash enjoyed back-to-back home games. Both Brooks and Middlesex made the trek to Andover, only to fall to the mighty Blue. The visiting teams do not normally put on a good show, so PA looked to do some crowd pleasing. Middlesex was up first on the program. Elliot Beck ’05 had a surprisingly strong opponent, North Whipple, who shot and retrieved shots well. Beck fell in three games, tallying the only loss against Middlesex that day. At #2, Derek de Svastich ’06 had a strong showing of racquet skill and shot selection, allowing him to win his match in three games. With Dan Wagman ’06 away for the weekend, Captain Dave Morse ’04 filled in the #3 spot. Morse, despite his quick movement around the court, could not produce winning shots outright, and had to fight his way through five games. Morse eventually won 3-2. Henry Manice ’05 also faired well at his #5 position. His excellent reach allowed him to pressure his opponent, forcing errors left and right. Manice also showed thoughtful shot selection during his 3-0 win against Middlesex. Harry Goldstein ’05 was pitted against a relentless retriever. Goldstein labored through four games, ending with a 3-1 win. Kirk Lepke ’04 won his match in three quick games, attributing his victory to “lots of sleep, and a good breakfast.” Greg Feldmann ’05 also won in three, showing his improved stroke and retrieval from the back corners. Immediately following the Middlesex matches, Andover squared up with neighbor Brooks. Again, Beck had trouble with his opponent, losing in four games. De Svastich controlled the court in his match. A small lapse in the third game allowed his Brooks opponent to steal a game, but de Svastich came back to win 3-1. Morse, tired from his previous five-game marathon, chose to slow the pace of his match with ample lobbing, coupled with opportunistic shooting. The strategy worked, and he won his match 3-0. Manice added to his previous outstanding play by adding sharp shooting to his already controlling volleys. His dominance on court allowed him to win 3-0 for the second time that day. Both Lepke and Feldmann outlasted their opponents to win 3-0, making the total score against Brooks 6 matches to 1, a resounding victory. This past Wednesday held a big opportunity for the Andover squash team. Belmont Hill stopped by for some hotly contested battles. Last year, Andover lost to Belmont Hill in a nail biting contest, ending 3 matches to 4. The boys in blue hoped to take revenge with a possible upset as Belmont hill is reputed as one of the top ranked schools in the league. Belmont Hill had the exact same lineup as last year, boasting all returning players, three of which were highly ranked nationally. Elliot beck made a strong showing, despite his 3-0 loss. His opponent, Chessin Gertler, is a member of the US Junior National Squash Team, and ranked top ten in the country. De Svastich said of his playing today, “I didn’t play as well as I had hoped. I fought hard, but lost to a top ranked player.” De Svastich lost in 3 as well. Wagman, back from a Model UN conference, assumed his regular #3 spot. He played well in the first game, but lost composure afterwards, ending his match with a three game loss. Morse played sharply, dispensing reprisal for previous losses to his long-time Belmont Hill opponent, winning in 3 games. Manice shot sharply and retrieved surprisingly well in his match. His persistent opponent countered with tight rails