Squash Places 10th at Interschols; Meyer Takes 6th at 4th Flight

Dave Koppel’s ’08 consolation bracket championship victory in the 4th flight highlighted the Andover Boys Squash team’s weekend at the New England Interscholastic Squash Championships. After the final match on Sunday, Andover finished in 10th place out of a total of 32 teams in New England. Andover competed in the “Class A” bracket of the 55th annual New England Championships, which were held at Groton this year. The team faced some of the best competition in New England, which included powerhouses St. Paul’s, Brunswick and Phillips Exeter. At Interschols, each team member played in one of seven mini-tournaments, earning points for the team depending on the outcome of their matches. In the number seven flight, John Bukawyn ’08 played some of his best squash of the season. He earned three wins and only suffered one loss, which led him to the 5th/6th playoff round. In the consolation round final, Bukawyn dropped a difficult match to a Choate opponent, 3-0. Jorden Zanazzi ’08 competed in the number 6 flight, cruising to an opening match victory against a Loomis opponent. In his next game, Zanazzi struggled against the number two seed from St. Paul’s and eventually lost by a final score of 3-0. Fighting an ankle injury, Zanazzi used his mental and physical tenacity to take his St. Mark’s opponent to a fifth set. However, Zanazzi could not convert down the stretch and lost 3-2. In his final match, Zanazzi easily defeated his Tabor opponent, 3-0, earning him the 9th-place finish. Playing in the number 5 flight was Trey Meyer ’09, who placed 6th after winning two solid matches and losing twice to two seeded opponents. Dave Koppel ’08 lost a close, well-fought opening match to a St. Paul’s competitor who was ranked first in the 4th flight. Koppel then moved on to win four solid matches, earning him the championship win in the consolation round. Captain Graham Miao ’09 commented, “Dave really played to his potential, utilizing his strengths of great reach and pressure length well. He worked hard and his prize was well-deserved.” Andrew Chan ’08 played in the number 3 flight for Andover, losing three incredibly difficult matches against St. Mark’s, Salisbury and Nobles. Chan utilized his great skills and knowledge of the game, but unfortunately couldn’t land a victory. Playing in the number 2 flight, Tony Zou ’09 showcased solid play throughout the weekend. Zou’s best match came when he defeated an incredibly skilled Loomis opponent, 3-2. Captain Miao played a strong tournament in the number 1 flight, shutting out the Salisbury number one seed, 3-0. His longest and final match consisted of tremendous retrieves, showing his great patience. Despite his ability to wear his opponent down, Captain Miao lost his final match of the tournament. Miao remarked on the end of the season, “I’m proud of how we played as a team throughout the whole season, and finally at Interschols, our strength and depth manifested itself as a determined team who drew faith from each other and always left all we had on the court.” Coach Tom Cone also spoke about the team’s improvement as a whole. He said that it was clear how much the team had improved since the beginning of the season, especially at Interschols. Many players beat opponents they had lost to during the regular season, showing significant progress. The field of players at Interschols was much tougher than previous years, but Andover showed strong perseverance throughout the tournament. Overall Cone was thoroughly pleased with the team’s performance at Interschols, as well as throughout the season.