The men’s squash team played its final matches of the season last weekend, competing in the College Squash Association’s Team Championships E bracket. The Jumbos won two of their three matches, which were held across the Greater Boston area. The team ended its season with an overall record of 6-18.
Tufts started the weekend with a 7-2 win over Boston University on Friday, followed by a difficult 5-4 loss to Northeastern on Saturday, but ended its season on a high note, beating Denison 6-3 on Sunday to finish third in their bracket.
Sophomore Aditya Advani suffered a surprising loss in the No. 1 position in the team’s match against Denison, falling to sophomore Andrew Krayacich 9-11, 11-6, 7-11, 11-9, 12-10.
“I was very nervous that day for some reason and wasn’t able to play my 100 percent best,” Advani said. “I beat my opponent easily earlier this year 3-0. I wasn’t entirely in my element that day and he played very well.”
However, Advani’s teammates were able to pick up the slack, as Tufts secured wins from the second through seventh positions.
“[Junior] Hugo Meggitt had a great win against Denison after coming back to the team in the spring,” junior co-captain Elliot Kardon said. “It was nice that against Denison the team was able to pull out a win, despite our No. 1 Aditya losing because he almost always wins.”
It was especially nice for Tufts to see successful matches out of the lower half of its ladder, which has struggled at times this season.
“Other than [against] Northeastern, we won our other two matches, which felt really nice,” Kardon said. “Our one senior, Jeremy Aronson, got a win to clinch the victory against Denison in his final match of his collegiate squash career.”
As befitting a player on the way out, Aronson won the final match of his career – and of Tufts’ season – in four games. He lost only the third game 9-11, winning the others by scores of 11-3, 11-7, 11-4.
Saturday’s match was against top-seeded Northeastern. The Jumbos had prepared for a tough competition, as they had played the Huskies twice before this season. In the fall, they lost to Northeastern by a score of 6-3. They again played them on Feb. 4 and, despite coming close to a win, fell 5-4.
The third time was not the charm however, as the Jumbos lost in similarly heartbreaking fashion to the Huskies by the familiar score of 5-4.
“Our first four players won while the last five lost,” Advani said. “It was a very tight match and a very close loss, unfortunately. I think we played very well but Northeastern played better on that day, [so] I think that’s why they won. That being said, everyone tried 100 percent.”
Despite the loss, Tufts was still able to enjoy one of the more sizable crowds it has seen all season, thanks in part to the efforts of the brothers of Zeta Psi, according to freshman Josh Lee.
“Obviously losing to Northeastern was disappointing, but we had a really good crowd that made the match a lot of fun to play,” Kardon said. “I was pretty happy with how the team played this weekend.”
One of the top-four Tufts players to win a match against Northeastern, Lee had to battle through four difficult matches to secure his victory, 11-7, 11-8, 6-11, 11-9.
“I feel I played well individually,” Lee said. “I am thankful to God for giving me strength to grit my way through all three games to win all my individual matches, which is truly a fantastic way to finish the season.”
On Friday, the Jumbos faced Boston University and came out with a 7-2 win, which proved to be even more impressive than their 6-3 win over BU earlier in the inaugural match of the season.
“Our … match against BU was [nearly] a clean sweep – mostly everyone won their matches,” Advani said. “It was a pretty easy win.”
Although the Jumbos finished third in the E division, they have higher hopes for the future of the team.
“It’s reassuring to know that we have some strong players towards the middle and bottom of the roster and not just the top,” Kardon said. “Going forward, next year we’d like to be in a higher division than the E division – either D or possibly C. We are only losing one senior and have a few strong recruits coming in.”
“I think everyone played very well and with our new recruits coming in next year I think we will be able to beat all of these teams very easily,” Advani added.