Boys Squash Overpowers Nobles; Falls to Powerhouse St. Paul’s

Heading into Wednesday’s match, the Boys Squash team was skeptical about facing an incredibly skilled team from St. Paul’s. Hesitancy proved to be Andover’s downfall. Failing to play assertively, the team fell to its top-ranking opponent 6-1. Jorden Zanazzi ’08 won the only match of the day, providing some hope for the team. He faced a strong competitor, but managed to claim a victory in a close five game match. Captain Graham Miao ’09 and Andrew Chan ’08 both suffered difficult losses to skilled adversaries. The loss interrupted a two-game winning streak for Andover, which beat both Loomis and Nobles last week. On Saturday the team traveled to Nobles, eager for a win and looking for revenge from last season’s loss. Nobles graduated six of its top seven players this season, leaving room for the addition of five freshmen to the team. Andover took advantage of the young squad and, in its first back-to-back wins of the season, defeated Nobles 5-2. Despite its new roster, Nobles offered solid competition. There were four freshmen filling up the four bottom spots on Nobles’ team last Saturday, with three proving to be skilled competitors. But Andover used its experience and tenacity to win a crucial match that brought the team’s record to an even 4-4. Chan and Foster Jebsen ’08, who both faced difficult Nobles opponents, were the only team members to suffer defeats. Chan lost a close match with a final score of 3-2, and Jebsen fell 3-0, unable to pull out a win for the team. Both Trey Meyer ’09 and Tony Zou ’09 won their matches at the number five and six spots, respectively. After dominating the first game and conceding in the second, they finished the last two with commanding play and deft volleys. Miao also managed a satisfying win, quickly shutting out his opponent 3-0. He has almost fully recovered from his injury and looks to continue his streak of success. Despite the two tough losses, every member of the team played with high intensity. David Koppel ’08 said, “We tried to keep the ball deep and keep our opponents moving. We knew that we would be able to outlast them, and that’s what eventually happened.” Miao mentioned that the team’s ladder contains great depth, which was shown by four wins against Nobles at the bottom. Miao said, “Individually our mental games have been improving steadily through training and team work, which is crucial. “For example, John Bukawyn ’08 was able to win his past two games convincingly after strengthening and sharpening his mental game.” With this impressive win, and even with the competitive loss to St. Paul’s on Wednesday, the team remains in good shape for its upcoming matches. There is a lot of good momentum going with the recent wins over Loomis and Nobles, two very skilled teams. On Saturday Andover will play host to Westminster, Belmont Hill, and Choate , and next Wednesday the team will travel to New Hampshire to face rival Exeter.