In a tight 10-9 lead, Cody Comyns ’23 hit a crosscourt drop into the nick, rolling the ball parallel to the ground. Securing match point, Comyns forced Hotchkiss to accept its first loss of the season. Andover Boys Squash ultimately lost 6-1 to Hotchkiss but made a comeback by sweeping Hopkins 7-0 in a doubleheader the same day. On Wednesday, Comyns was, again, the only Andover player to win a match against St. Paul’s. The second 6-1 loss now puts Andover at a 6-2 record.
According to Sean Winston-Luo ’24, Hotchkiss evidently had much stronger players. However, Winston-Luo also believes other uncontrollable factors placed Andover in a much more challenging position to win, such as injury and timing.
“We played Hotchkiss first. They’re a much stronger team. We were missing our number two captain, Arthur Nguyen. He was injured with an ankle injury, so he was unable to come, and that made our lineup push up. We all had harder matches, so Hotchkiss was tough, and we ended up losing. We then played Hopkins, which is much less strong of a team,” sand Winston-Luo.
Playing a more experienced team in the first leg of the doubleheader also had its perks, according to Avery Lin ’25. Lin noted that with tough matches already under its belt, the team was properly warmed up against Hopkins.
“There was definitely a big gap in the level, but it was good to play a team like Hotchkiss because [that was our first loss of the season]. I feel like we got a lot better from it… Playing Hotchkiss first definitely prepared us for the Hopkins match,” said Lin.
The practices leading up to the weekend’s matches revolved around a common theme of repetition and consistency. The team used a technique called ghosting, which allows players to develop consistent movements and correct form.
“We did a lot of movement-based work on the squash court like ghosting. Sort of hitting the shot without a ball. We were just trying to get faster [and develop our] endurance, really trying to work on consistency on the court and hitting shots with more purpose, and that really prepared us for our matches at Hopkins. It’s definitely going to serve us well further into the season,” said Winston-Luo.
For future doubleheaders, Aidan Lin ’23 believes the team should work on maintaining a strong effort until the final game. According to Lin, not only can endurance training help with this but also using certain strategies to conserve energy.
“Endurance is something we can always work on. Also, shortening the points. There were a lot of times we could be more efficient there in the easier matches and conserve more energy,” said Lin.
On Wednesday, the team faced similar challenges against St. Paul’s as they did against Hotchkiss. Despite attempting to keep an optimistic mindset, the team knew it was the underdog, according to Winston-Luo.
“They are a better team on paper than us, and we were going in as underdogs since our captain is injured right now. Everybody played harder matches,” said Winston-Luo.
Andover will look to secure a win as it faces Groton away on Friday.