Andover Boys Squash’s first seed Justin Curtis ’15 grasped the squash ball and wiped his hands on the glass surrounding the Exeter Squash courts on Wednesday. With a solid lead over his opponent, he hit a piercing serve, and with steadfast ball control, dominated the point and the match 3-0. The second seed Michael Huang ’15 also shut out his Exeter opponent.
These two decisive wins marked the first time that the top two seeds both won of their matches since Andover’s match against Westminster on February 1; however, these points couldn’t carry the team to a win, as Andover fell 2-5.
This score mirrored Andover’s loss to Phillips Exeter Academy last season, a disappointment that Andover did not want to repeat. The team walked into Wednesday’s match looking to redeem its loss and grab a win heading into Interschols.
Curtis and Huang opened the match with aggression and precision.
“We were able to keep our opponents guessing and running,” said Curtis.
The rest of the ladder, however, was unable to emulate Curtis and Huang’s prowess.
Third seed Jack Quamme ’16 and fourth seed Max Fern ’18 both lost their matches 1-3.
The fifth seed, Reid Bradt ’15, played and lost a close match. Losing the first game 5-11, he rallied to win the second game 11-2 and the third game 11-8. He lost the fourth game 9-11 and the fifth game 4-11.
Sixth and seventh seeds, Robby Schwartz ’15 and Ishaan Patel ’18 respectively, were both shut out in their matches.
As usual following a loss, the team’s optimism was evident, especially coming from Head Coach Tom Hodgson. Hodgson wrote in an email to The Phillipian, “[The match was] a great finish for [Curtis] and [Huang], the two Seniors at the top of our ladder. Both showed skill, creativity and spirit. Other matches were hard fought, but inconsistent decision-making put us on the run in too many points. Exeter took the bigger share of the close games, a switch from our first encounter this season at home.”
As this was the last regular season match, however, the team was still disappointed.
Schwartz said, “This [loss] was a tough one. The Seniors stuck around after the group huddle in realization that this was our last match against Exeter. But there’s good news: we still have [Interschols] to redeem ourselves. We’re going to be pitted against some pretty strong competition, as we’re seeded in Division A, but we don’t think our team is going to be a pushover.
The Interscholastic competitions will take place on February 27, 28 and March 1. Andover is placed in Division A, as it was last year, and looks to redeem its 16th place finish.
“We’re planning on going out with a bang,” Schwartz continued, “and there’s no better place to do it than when it counts most: in front of the crowds and teammates at [Interschols].”