With Andover Boys Squash one point away from victory, Jack Quamme ’16 dashed to the front of the court after his Middlesex opponent hit a drop shot. Quamme, who had just recovered after losing the third game of the match, reached out and hit a powerful reverse boast to end the match and help Andover to a 7-0 sweep last Friday. The win came a day after a 2-5 loss to Groton.
Against Groton, the team was able to secure two wins out of number two seed Justin Curtis ’15 and number six seed newcomer Ishaan Patel ’18.
Curtis came back after losing his first two games, winning the next three games and finishing the match with a 3-2 win. Patel won his match 3-1.
The rest of the team did not fare as well, with all but one member losing 3-0. Max Fern ’18 was the only losing Andover player who did not get swept, as he lost 3-1.
Head Coach Tom Hodgson wrote in an email to The Phillipian, “Almost all of the [individual] games [against Groton] were close. We lost games and matches we might otherwise have won (and hope to be able to win later in the season).”
With the Groton loss behind them, the team handed a crushing defeat to Middlesex the next day. In a complete turnaround from the Groton match, six of Andover’s seven players won 3-0, while Quamme won 3-1.
Curtis said, “It was a much-needed win. We had three losses in a row, and it was nice to at least win a couple of games.”
Hodgson wrote, “Saturday’s Middlesex match pitted us against a less skilled but game team. We generally kept the level of play up to a decent standard.”
Andover’s turnaround on Saturday after a tough loss showed the team’s resolve and will to win. Andover has also benefitted from strong play from its two Juniors, Patel and Fern.
“It’s been really nice to have [Patel] and [Fern],” said Curtis. “They really help to solidify the ladder. They have been huge assets to the team.”
Andover also faced St. Mark’s on Wednesday; a team whose playing style and ability was “unknown” to Andover, according to Hodgson’s email. Considering this, Andover was still able to pull off another shutout win 7-0 against St. Mark’s. All of the players shut their opponents out 3-0.
Robby Schwartz ’15 said, “We approached the match against St. Mark’s with high spirits, having come off a strong win against Middlesex last Saturday. Right now, we’re focusing on some of the basics of squash, and our practices appear to be paying dividends.”
Looking ahead, with a strong ladder and a little bit of momentum, Andover faces Nobles & Greenough and St. Paul’s in its next two matches.
Captain Michael Huang ’15 said, “We are still a very new team. The more matches we play, the more experienced we get. Over time, I think we’ll be able to get better and become closer as a team.”
Hodgson is optimistic about the team’s future. He wrote, “I am confident that this great group of teammates, supported by our excellent managers [Monica Traniello ’15 and Kate Flynn ’15], will rise to every challenge.”
The 2-1 week halted Andover’s three-game losing streak and pushed its record to 3-4. Andover will look to claim its fourth win of the season against Nobles on Saturday, who defeated St. Mark’s by the same score as Andover did on Wednesday.