Alex Bernhard ’19 slammed a loose ball into the nick, securing an 11-8 victory against his Phillips Exeter Academy opponent. Bernhard’s success only continued as he went on to win his match 3-0 and ultimately contributed to Andover Boys Squash’s 7-0 sweep against Exeter on Wednesday. Andover also displayed strength last Saturday, beating Choate 5-2 and Westminster 6-1. This succession of wins extended Andover’s season record to 8-5.
On Saturday, Andover hosted Westminster, Choate, and Belmont Hill in the new Snyder Center for a round robin; the schedule did not allow Andover to face off against Belmont Hill.
Head Coach John Roberts said, “The other team, definitely from a technical standpoint, was probably a little stronger than we are. Their shots are probably a little better, and their technique is probably a little better, but our biggest strength is our ability and our discipline on the court to really grind out matches and keep the other player on the court for as long as possible in order to get the win.”
Erik Wang ’21 said, “We were a little bit weaker than Choate at one and two, and especially at one for Westminster. I think that just means that our team has to keep our cool and play consistent squash. We have Nationals this weekend, so we are just aiming to stay fit and sharp, and we hope to put out a strong battle and play our best.”
Both Roberts and Wang commended Seniors Ishaan Patel ’18 and Captain David Tsai ’18 on their strong performances against Choate. Though Tsai suffered a deficit in his matchup, he showed great grit and determination throughout his game, according to Coach Roberts.
Wang added, “Although David dropped the first two games, he took the third game and almost brought the match to five games after losing the fourth 14-12.”
According to Wang, Andover was able to maintain strong gameplay and focus throughout the past week.
Wang said, “Just staying focused and not letting any easy points slip by for our opponents was difficult. We all kept our head in the game and fought for every single point. Because of this, our top seeds were able to pull out close matches with their players.”
Despite the wide margin of victory, the team faced challenges from all quarters. Internally, first seed Bernhard was suffering from injury, yet he still managed to secure his 3-0 victory.
To prepare for Nationals this weekend, Roberts looks to give appropriate rest time so the team can reenergize. He said becoming more disciplined and comfortable with stressful situations and playing disciplined squash will be key in securing victories.
Editor’s Note: Alex Bernhard is an Eighth Page Editor for The Phillipian.