DIII Championship Momentum Propels Boys to Win Over Concord Academy

Battling sickness and a match point, Co-Captain Michael Huang ’15 rallied back in a epic test of both physical and emotional boundaries from 10-8. After winning the first game 11-8 and then dropping the second game 7-11, Huang was relentless in the third. He rallied back and forth with his Exeter opponent, but neither could capitalize on multiple match points until Huang pulled it out at 18-16. Carrying this momentum to that fourth game, Huang closed out the match 11-7. Andover finished off its turbulent regular season with a 6-1 win over Concord Academy and a 5-2 loss against Exeter. Once again the team was missing multiple players due to injury and health reasons, and the ladder was compromised. “Our season has been thoroughly plagued with illnesses and injuries, and we felt that it was not until our run at Nationals that we reached our full potential as a team. We were plagued again this week against Exeter,” said Co-Captain Jack Wain ’14. Both Co-Captains won their matches at the top of the ladder against Exeter and were the only two players on the team playing in their typical positions. Wain swept his opponent in three straight games, redeeming himself from a four game loss in the same matchup from earlier in the season. In the rematch, Wain remained consistent and positive, especially under the pressure of long rallies. He won 11-8, 11-9 and 11-4. Although, besides Wain and Huang, the team lost all its matches, the matches were much closer than the score reflected. “We all played our hearts out against Exeter, but the ball just didn’t bounce our way, and the majority of the games were close and winnable. However, I think we all faltered through the three and four positions and mentally put too much pressure on ourselves,” said Armaan Singh ’14, who lost in four games. Without Justin Curtis ’15 and Kun Woo Kim ’15, there were gaping holes in the team’s ladder that Exeter promptly took advantage of. “Exeter had a strong team this year with a lot of Seniors. Our biggest weakness has been and continues to be the health of our team. The result of the match might have been very different if we had Kun Woo or Justin back. Missing both of them against a team like Exeter made it very difficult for us, and we just couldn’t pull it out. We hopefully will have Justin back for Interschols and, with him, can hopefully place ahead of Exeter,” said Jake Rauh ’14. The team was healthy for its match against Concord Academy, in which Andover lost only one match. Andover will participate in the Division A of Interschols this weekend with the knowledge that it will face the top teams in the league. “Realistically we expect to be outmatched because these teams were in Division 1 for Nationals, but we want to go in and play the best squash that we can play and finish off the season on a positive note together as a team,” said Wain.