Jumbos fall to Franklin & Marshall before Thanksgiving break

Senior Raghav Kumar swings at the ball in a match against Dickonson at Harvard's Murr Center on Friday, Jan 20, 2017. Ray Bernoff / The Tufts Daily Archives

Men’s squash suffered a disappointing loss this weekend at the hands of higher-ranked Franklin & Marshall College, losing 0–9. Despite four of their matches going to four sets, Jumbos failed to convert a single match in their favor.

As Franklin & Marshall is ranked higher than Tufts, this loss did not come as a surprise.

“We were expected to lose this match [at] Franklin & Marshall as we had never played a team ranked as high before. They are ranked No. 12 in the country and we are at No. 22,” first-year Vivaan Jaikishan said.

However, Tufts made up for the difference in ranking with solid intent and willpower, giving Franklin & Marshall a run for their money. Jaikishan, though happy with his performance, felt like this was a match worth winning.

“I think I played really well and could have won the game,” Jakishan said. “I was 9–5 up in the third set and 7–4 up in the first game which I lost. I think game-wise we were up there with them; they were just much better on the day.”

First-year Shloke Sahay played through his match despite suffering from an injury.

“I did the best I could in the given situation but it wasn’t enough to win the match,” Sahay said. “I thought with enough rest and traveling I would be fine, but I clearly wasn’t.”

Sahay felt that the team wasn’t intimidated by the high ranking of their opponents and everyone played to their strengths.

“Everyone played their best,” Sahay said. “No one gave up. There were not many unforced errors. Although they were the favorites, we tried not to make it a one-sided affair.”

First-year Sanjeev Jeyabalan, who managed to win a game in his match, spoke about the team’s preparation heading into their next match against the MIT Engineers, their arch-rivals.

“This match was just a part of our learning curve,” Jeyabalan said. “MIT lost to Franklin & Marshall too, so we think it will be a much closer match against them. The coach has talked to us individually about our games, and all of us have different things we need to work on for our next match.”

Sahay too felt like there is a lot to learn from this match.

“We now know what our weaknesses are,” Sahay said. “Our training regiment will be the same but all of us now individually know where we are lacking, so we will focus more on those areas during training.”

Coming from a tropical country, both Jaikishan and Sahay have had to adjust to the new weather conditions here.

“It’s a different game altogether,” Jaikishan said. “It’s a different bounce so we’ve had to change our game after coming here to suit these courts.”

Despite this loss, the team is optimistic as the match against the MIT Engineers approaches.

“We are gonna continue to train hard,” said Jaikishan. “I’m certain that as we keep getting better, we will soon be at their level and will get the results that we want.”

The Jumbos will try to recover from this loss during the much-needed Thanksgiving break. Refreshed and rejuvenated, they will be back in action on Dec. 5 against the MIT Engineers.