Andover’s fifth-seed Erik Wang ’21 fought hard to lengthen his rallies and force errors from his opponent. Despite these efforts, Wang lost his match 3-0, and Andover Boys Varsity Squash lost 6-1 against Noble and Greenough on Saturday. On Wednesday, the team also fell to St. Paul’s with a score of 7-0. The team’s record now stands at 5-5.
Wang said, “This week [was] especially tough for us because all of the teams that we play[ed] are among the top teams in the country.”
Nobles is an undefeated team, but the boys were still able to challenge their individual opponents, according to Head Coach John Roberts.
Coach Roberts wrote in an email to The Phillipian, “A big concern against Nobles, who is a top four team in the country, was that if our players lacked the belief that they could push their opponents despite being big underdogs on paper, it could be a very quick match. Fortunately, this was not the case, and we put up a good fight.”
Eighth-seed Steve Nam ’20 said, “Going into the match, we knew that we were facing a historically strong team, and yet we still gave our best effort in all of our matches. In the end, it resulted in a feeling of fulfillment despite our loss.”
In his fourth-seed match against Nobles, Jack Lee ’20 lost narrowly with a set score of 3-2.
Wang said, “Jack Lee had an outstanding performance as the fourth seed against a very strong opponent. He managed to take two games off his opponent in a hard-fought battle but eventually lost 3-2.”
St. Paul’s is also a highly-ranked team, earning the title of the number-two school in the country. According to Coach Roberts, playing the match allowed the boys on the team to practice playing tougher matches.
“The boys dug deep and did an excellent job of implementing our game plan across the board, which involved disciplined, mature play. This made for a lot of close matches, which was awesome to see, building on the belief that we can challenge top-level teams and become more used to these consistent yet long, grueling matches,” said Roberts.
The team hopes to prepare for its home triple-header on Saturday against Westminster, Choate, and Belmont Hill by working on its mental game and conditioning, according to Wang.
Wang said, “I think that we just need to keep our heads in the games and really grind through our matches, as they will definitely be both physically and mentally taxing.”