Schlacks ’11 Beats Top Ranked Exeter Player in Five Games

Captain Kyul Rhee ’10 and Hunter Schlacks ’11 earned what would be Andover’s only victories in a tough week for Boys’ Squash. While the squad struggled against formidable competition from Choate, Westminster and Exeter, Schlacks excelled, winning all three of his matches against some of the top squash players in New England. Last Saturday, Andover faced off against Choate and Westminster in a tri-match. While Andover played Choate earlier this season and knew it to have a talented squad, Coach Cone and the team were prepared for even tougher competition from a a highly skilled Westminster top seven. Andover started slow against Choate and was overwhelmed by Choate’s agility and tenacity. While Andover rallied, the effort proved to be too little too late, and Andover lost 2-5 with the only wins coming from Rhee and Schlacks. Rhee’s match highlighted Andover’s struggle. While his opponent took him down early, he fought relentlessly during an exhausting five match showdown and eventually won 3-2. Rhee said, “I guess the key to my victory was playing consistent squash without errors. I was moving pretty well, and that helped me hit some perfect rails, sticking to the wall. But in that fifth set, I was really determined to win. That’s what it came down to.” Schlacks won his game easily, sweeping his Choate opponent in three short games. With a quick win behind him, he carried the momentum into his second match, where he faced skilled Westminster opponent. Like Rhee before him, Schlacks played consistent squash and prevented his opponent from gaining momentum. Shlacks said, “I kept my opponent back, then put him away with some high vollies and drops. My execution was good, and I hit some pretty crisp shots.” Andover fell 2-5 to Westminster as well, with Rhee winning his match in four games. Andover traveled to rival Exeter on Wednesday and faced off against an agile and skilled Exeter squad. Exeter started off strong, dominating the first six matches to take a quick and destructive 6-0 lead. With the match against Exeter already lost, Schlacks took to the court to play against a renowned Exeter recruit and one of the top players in the country. Using a special strategy devised by Coach Cone and Rhee, Shlacks played perfect squash, taking the first two games, shocking his opponent and quieting the Exeter crowd. However, his opponent charged back and tied the score 2-2. With the score even, Schlacks dug deep, drawing up resolve to win five straight shots and to earn a match point. Schlacks then finessed an incredible trick-nick in the front right corner, pulling off the huge upset. This was a miraculous outcome in the otherwise disappointing loss. As Aditya Mithal ’10 said, “We are definitely psyched to get this victory in the lopsided match.” Andover’s schedule is lighter going into the last few weeks of the season, and the team looks to close on a high note. Andover will play St. George’s next Wednesday.