The men’s squash team traveled to Trinity College last weekend to play in the College Squash Association’s (CSA) Team Championships. The Jumbos competed in the D division in the hopes of winning the Conroy Cup and a higher national ranking than their current one, No. 28.
The Jumbos opened up play with a 6-3 win over MIT on Friday. They were able to win in the first three positions pretty easily. In the fourth position, Tufts first-year Sandeep Rishi had a tough match and was down two games, but he was able to edge senior David Bian in five games to get the win. Junior Brandon Weiss was able to win a close but decisive three-game match to seal the deal for the Jumbos and move them on their way to the semifinals.
“We played our hearts out to the final buzzer,” senior Zach Schweitzer said. “But some key performances from freshman phenom Sandeep Rishi and the enigmatic Brandon Weiss were true highlights.”
Senior Elliot Kardon was also extremely proud of the team’s performance.
“It felt awesome to beat MIT. We beat them earlier in the year, and we knew we were going to face them at Nationals,” he said. “A lot of people doubted that we would beat them again, but we were able to win decisively … [it was a ] huge win for us.”
Next, Tufts faced Hamilton in its semifinals match. The Jumbos had already fallen to the Continentals twice earlier in the season, but they were confident and prepared to face them in Nationals.
“I honestly think we are a slightly better team than Hamilton and we had that confidence when we went on court on Saturday,” sophomore Owen Elliot said.
The Jumbos were able to win in the first three positions without much difficulty. However, the bottom half of the lineup had some trouble against the Continentals. There were several players who played very close matches but were unable to defeat their opponents.
“We were simply outmatched by Hamilton, they’ve got a great bunch of lads,” Schweitzer said. “That being said, the court temperatures were a bit hotter than usual which definitely wore some of us out earlier than we had anticipated.”
“Bad bounces happened in those last two matches and if they had all gone for us we would have won,” Elliot added.
In the end, Tufts lost to Hamilton, 6-3.
In their final match of the season, Tufts faced Stanford in the consolation round of the CSA’s Team Championships. The Jumbos knew that the Cardinals were a tough team, and at the end of a long and tiring weekend the players were showing the exhaustion in their faces.
“Stanford was a winnable match,” Kardon said. “I think if we had played a bit more aggressively as a team and gone for more volleys and drop shots, we could have pulled out the win.”
Schweitzer said that if Tufts and Stanford were to play each other again this coming weekend, the victory would be up for grabs. Overall, it seemed that a combination of team fatigue and lack of strategy led to Tufts’ 5-4 defeat.
The only thing left this season for the Jumbos is the CSA Individual Championships, which junior Aditya Advani hopes to attend. Though Tufts was unable to accomplish all of its goals this season, the team remains optimistic.
“One of our main goals was to win a NESCAC match, which we did not do,” Kardon said. “This was a high goal and we came close several times but were ultimately unable to seal the deal. However, we were able to finish at No. 28 in the country which is quite high and we were all really proud of that finish at Nationals.”
The Tufts men’s squash team finished their season with an overall record of 6-15.