Injuries Lead to Close Loss

With a swooping drop shot from the back corner of the court, Co-Captain Michael Huang ’15 clinched a 3-2 match victory and sealed Andover’s 6-1 victory over Middlesex. The win came after a loss to Groton on Saturday. Missing top players Jake Rauh ’14 and Justin Curtis ’14, Andover fell to Groton 4-3. While Huang, Co-Captain Jack Wain ’14 and Alex Kunwoo Kim ’14 took home victories, the bottom four players on the ladder lost after being forced to play up a spot from their normal position. Jack Quamme ’16 had his match tied at 2-2. If he had won his game, Andover would have taken home its second victory of the season. Quamme rallied back and forth to the fifth game of the deciding match at the five spot in the ladder. Although he lost the first two games 11-6 and 11-8, he recovered in the next two games and won (11-7, 11-5) as his opponent lost momentum and became more and more fatigued. After the end of the fourth match, his opponent was injured and had to take time to recover. He managed to come back from his injury and win the fifth game by just two points, finalizing a loss of 3-4. “[My opponent] had to step out of the court and took 20 minutes to recover which gave him a lot time to recharge and get his energy back. I think this affected me mentally and made it harder to get into the fifth game which was pretty close until the very end,” said Quamme. “If we were healthy, we feel confident that we would have been able to take [Groton],” said Wain. The next day, the team shook off this devastating loss and defeated Middlesex despite still missing Rauh and Curtis. Wain continued, “Middlesex was more challenging than we expected with most matches going to four or five very competitive games, but we were able to pull off the victory 6-1.” The score deficit of the Middlesex match did not accurately represent how close the game truly was. All positions on the ladder excluding the seven spot went to at least four games, and the seventh game was won in three. Andover is closely ranked at the bottom of the second division for High School Nationals. With a few more wins against teams that are ranked directly above it such as Choate, St. Paul’s, St. Georges and Brooks, Andover has a good chance of moving even further up in the seeding. “If we can play up to our full ability with a full lineup, we are in legitimate contention for a spot in the middle or upper section of our division which would place us in the top 25 to 30 teams in the country,” said Head Coach Tom Hodgson. Andover will face St. Mark’s this weekend without Curtis. As it learns to adjust to the holes and mismatches in the ladder, Andover Boys Squash hopes to come out of this next match with a positive result and get back to full strength by the end of next week.