Squash Finishes 5th at Division B New England Championships

Despite the absence of second seed Hunter Schlacks ’11, Andover Boys Squash secured a fifth place finish at the Division B New England Insterscholastic Tournament this past weekend. Jared Curtis ’11 was the highest finisher for Andover, finishing second in his bracket. Curtis entered the tournament as the top-ranked player in his grouping. After a first round bye, Curtis dominated his second round opponent in three games, winning 11-7, 11-6 and 11-5. In his semifinal match, Curtis controlled the game, beating another tough opponent in three games, 11-7, 11-5 and 11-9. Curtis hit powerful shots and avoided unforced errors. In the finals of the seventh flight, Curtis started off slow, losing his first two games 3-11 and 9-11. Regaining his footing, Curtis snagged an 11-9 win in the third to force a fourth set. However, the surge was not enough, and Curtis lost the fourth set 7-11. The loss landed Curtis in second place for his grouping, the highest finish for any Andover player. Andover’s number two seed, Schlacks suffered a serious foot injury the week preceding New Englands. The injury benched Schlacks for the duration of the tournament, and the team was forced to default all of his matches. Despite this setback, Andover still placed fifth overall in the tournament. Michael Yoon ’10, playing the sixth flight for Andover, won the consolation draw for his flight and brought home fifth place from an unranked position. “Despite our season record, I think Interschols is really where we showed our true potential. Everyone played some tough matches and kept to it until the end. It was hard and tiring, but we played some great squash,” said Yoon. After a four game loss in the semifinal match, Nicholas Grace ’10 won the third place consolation match in the fourth flight. The match went on for five games, until Grace pulled away with an 11-5 victory in the final game. Captain Kyul Rhee ’10, the top seed for Andover, lost his third place playoff in a grueling five set match, securing a fourth place win for Andover. “We ended the season on a good note, stringing together some wins at the end. Fifth at Interschols wasn’t bad, and we are pretty happy with our performance there, especially considering Hunter’s absence,” said Aditya Mithal ’10. Fred Grace ’10 said, “This year, Boys Varsity Squash was not just about winning. If we lost, we moved on. I, for one, have never been on a team where everyone got along so well. No one mourned the losses. This year, we truly made it count.” This New England tournament was the last for retiring Coach Tom Cone. “Mr. Cone was a great coach, very understanding and knowledgeable. He helped us, as a team, even when we were weak. He spent countless hours coaching and advising us,” said Will Brooke ’11.