Schlacks ’11 Wins Two Matches In Winless Week for Andover

Hunter Schlacks ’11 amazed the Andover spectators in a thrilling match on Saturday. He raced across the court, returning difficult shots and eventually overwhelming his opponents with a combination of powerful rail shots and finessed drop shots. Shlacks led Andover Boys Squash in two difficult home matches against Choate and Taft. Although the team lost both matches, its performance was much better than last week, with several match-ups coming down to the fifth and final game. Against Choate, Captain Kyul Rhee ’10 and Aditya Mithal ’10 played the most memorable games. Rhee, the top seed for Andover, faced off against a top-ranked Choate opponent. Rhee played one of his finest matches this season, earning a crucial win for Andover. “I played consistent, and eliminated any careless mistakes. My shot selection was much better, and I guess what it comes down to is my execution.,” Rhee said. Andover had several strong performances against Choate where players came close to a victory. Mithal forced his opponent to the maximum five games with what he said were, “Solid rail shots, utilizing my left-handed shot”. Later that evening, Andover faced a “surprisingly skilled” Taft team, according to Mithal. Andover would have been swept without the impressive play of Shlacks. His confidence and execution improved as the match progressed, and he prevailed in the fifth and final game to win. “I hit a lot of nicks, which are impossible corner shots, and winners. This is the first performance I am satisfied with,” said Schlacks. “Our conditioning needed improvement,” said Coach Cone. “By the fifth game I saw tired Andover players. Endurance is an important aspect of squash, and I realized that I should implement more endurance into the practices.” As a result, the team incorporated stairs and more running into their training during practice this past week. The team squared off on Wednesday in a match against the talented Deerfield team. Going into the match, Coach Cone made a few minor changes to the middle of the lineup, playing Andrew Hong ’10 as the fourth seed, and Jared Curtis ’11, Nick Grace ’10, and Will Brooke ’11 playing fifth, sixth adn seventh respectively. Brooke had the lone victory, winning in five games against his Deerfield opponent in an impressive performance. “I hit some nice drop shots, and a few timely volleys. I think that helped me get the win,” said Brooke In the third game, Brooke was down 6-2 and on the brink of losing, when he came roaring back to win. “I guess my motivation was the crowd cheering, that really helped,” said Brooke. Although Jared Curtis ’11 did not win his match, he boasted an impressive comeback. He was down to match point in the third game, on the verge of losing, but he came back ferociously, winning the next two sets. However, his opponent surged back to take the match. Coach Cone was impressed with the team’s performance. “We’ll see these teams again, and the results should be different. This match could have easily gone our way for the victory,” he said. The team will take on Middlesex this weekend.