Boys Squash Sports Winter Sports

Andover Falls To Powerhouse Brooks

Holding a 10-9 lead in his game against his Brooks opponent on January 22, Justin Curtis ’15 rallied to win the fourth game and tie the match 2-2. He then sealed the deal with a winner in the fifth to clinch a 3-2 triumph. Curtis’s victory was one of three Andover Boys Squash victories against Brooks. The three wins were not enough, however, and Andover’s two-match winning streak was brought to an end with a 4-3 loss to Brooks. “As a team, I thought that most of us started our matches on the wrong foot and took a little too long to get acclimated to our opponents’ playing styles,” said Curtis. “By the third and fourth games, however, we had begun to figure out what was working and what was not. Consequently, every match went right down to the wire, but we need to play better at the beginning of the match.” Head Coach Tom Hodgson wrote in an email to The Phillipian, “We faced a comparable Brooks team. The Brooks match was everything we hoped it would be, except a win,” The loss was a close and heartbreaking one. Hodgson said, “14 games were decided by two points. We won only five of those.” Along with Curtis’s win, Andover secured two other victories from young talent Max Fern ’18 and three-year veteran Jack Quamme ’16. Fern handily defeated his opponent in a 3-0 shutout. Quamme grabbed an early 2-0 lead. He lost his third game by two points but came back to defeat his opponent by four points in the fourth game, nabbing a 3-1 win. The rest of the team fell hard in their matches, winning only four games in between the four players. The number one seed Captain Michael Huang ’15 was one of the four Andover players that lost their matches 3-1. Despite the decisive score, Huang battled all match long. He lost his first game by two points, won his second game by two points, lost his third game by five and his fourth game by three points. “Overall, our team played relatively well,” said Huang. “Brooks is always a friendly and competitive team, so we were able to play without emotions being a huge factor. For me, I just tried to play smart, while sometimes hitting unorthodox shots. I knew my opponent was very strong, so I wasn’t pressuring myself to win, but only to play my best.” Number four seed Reid Bradt ’15, number six Ishaan Patel ’18 and number seven Addison Davenport ’15 also fell. Patel’s loss was his first loss in three matches. Andover was scheduled to play matches against Nobles and St. Paul’s last Saturday and Wednesday, respectively, but those matches were all cancelled due to inclement weather. With a 3-3 record, Andover pushes forward in its quest to repeat as High School Nationals champions. While this may be a daunting goal, the team remains optimistic and will bring this energy to its match against St. Paul’s at home on Thursday. Davenport said, “I think the team is starting to look like a team, the younger players are gaining experience and the ladder is beginning to properly reflect the order of talent. [Our upcoming match against] St. Paul’s should give us a good sense of where we stand [for Nationals].”