Andover Boys Squash smashed a four match losing streak with a 7-0 sweep of Middlesex on Saturday to bounce back from a floundering 0-7 loss against Groton the day before.
Against Groton, a talented and healthy team, Andover could not find its rhythm. Groton had previously defeated Deerfield, a team that had already beaten Andover 4-3. In a heated match, Malachi Price ’13 managed to take his Groton opponent to four games, but he fell in the overtime of the fourth game due to a hip injury. Another bright spot, Justin Curtis ’15 had the closest match, losing 2-3.
Captain TJ Lenzo ’12 said, “Justin [Curtis] was the closest to getting the win and played another solid match, as he has every match this season. As a freshman, he is very impressive. So overall, the goal against Groton was to win the bottom four matches out of the seven which we couldn’t do, but if we had another shot I think it would have been a possibility.”
About the tough loss, Coach Hodgson said, “Right now, we’re playing up to our ability, working at it and trying to get better. There’s a preparation gap from break, and other teams have played more squash.”
Against Middlesex, Andover got back on track. Kun Woo Kim ’14, Lenzo, Alex Demeulenaere ’13, Reid Bradt ’15, Cam Morose ’13 and Curtis all won 3-0. Alec Buck ’13 lost his first game with a close score of 11-13 before bouncing back to win the next three 11-3, 11-4, 11-3. Price sat out his match due to injury.
Lenzo commented on the team’s overall perfomance against Middlesex, “Kun Woo’s opponent did not have much experience but was a very good athlete. He dove about 30 times on the court and honestly nearly hurt himself. In my match, I hit a drop shot in the third game, and my opponent came barreling into me, whacking me in the back of my head. Other than that, Demeulenaere grinded out his match against the most talented player on Middlesex at number three.”
This Wednesday, Andover’s match against Loomis decided the division in which Andover will be placed for high school nationals. Last year, Andover was in the third division.
Against Loomis, Andover lost with a disappointing final tally of 1-7. Curtis once again shone, winning his second straight match 3-2, which included two intense overtime victories. Curtis said, “It was a pretty close match. At times, I didn’t really play my best squash, but I felt like at the end I gave myself a pretty good shot to win.”
Bradt, Morose and Demeulenaere all lost 0-3 in their respective matches. Rome Arnold ’14 played his first varsity match and won the first game 11-7. He then dropped the next two and lost a very close fourth game 11-13.
Price also lost in a thrilling four games. After losing the first game 6-11, he bounced back to tie with an 11-4 win before losing the last two 9-11 and 8-11. Lenzo won his first game 11-9, but he fell behind early and fought back to tie it in the second and third games, but he ended up losing both 9-11 and 8-11. He lost the fourth game 3-11.
Andover looks to improve its record, facing St. Mark’s this Friday and Noble and Greenough on Saturday.