The Wesleyan men’s and women’s teams got a taste of squash before Thanksgiving with the annual Boston Round Robin tournament that took place on Nov. 17 and 18. The men’s squash squad kicked off its seasons with the two-day tournament against Boston College, MIT, Middlebury, and Brown, and the women also matched up with BC, Middlebury, and Brown, with Wellesley also thrown into the mix.
The trip to Beantown yielded mixed, yet predictable results as the men easily disposed of Boston College and MIT but faltered against the highly-ranked Middlebury and Brown. The women produced similar results, making short work of BC and Wellesley before being trounced by powerhouses Middlebury and Brown.
Short-staffed until several key players return for the spring semester, the men’s lineup was led by newcomer Guy Davidson ’16, who started at the number one spot for all four matches. Davidson quickly learned the ferocity of collegiate squash competition, dropping his first match 0-3 against NESCAC foe Middlebury. Davidson recovered, however, winning easily against both MIT and BC 3-0 before narrowly losing to a strong Brown top-seed 3-2.
Also spearheading the weekend success for the men’s squad was Daniel Sneed ’15. Playing three matches at the four spot, Sneed proved dominant and ended the weekend with a 3-0 mark. The grand mark of a stellar weekend for “Sneed Racer” was an emphatic 3-2 victory over the 15th-ranked Middlebury for Wesleyan’s only winning set in its loss. Wesleyan was fired up by its youth in the round robin, getting victories from freshmen and sophomores. Raheem Logan ’16, Jason Brandner ’16, and Cameron Rahbar ’15 all proved that they have the ability to break into the starting rotation. The men’s team will next see action against both Colgate and Vassar as the Cardinals return to their home court this Saturday.
The women’s squash results told virtually the same story as the men’s: a team missing players that received ample supplementation from their youth. Tournament play started with easy victories over lesser-seasoned sides in Boston College and Wellesley and culminated in two crushing 9-0 defeats at the hands of #11 Middlebury and #9 Brown.
Sophomore Annie Maxwell ’15 occupied the number one spot during the weekend tournament for the first time for the Cardinals and was able to assert her dominance over the overpowered BC and Wellesley. However, like the majority of the squad, Maxwell sported a 2-2 mark by the end of the weekend after a tough 1-3 loss against Middlebury and a harrowing 0-3 loss against Brown. It was a similar narrative for the rest of the women’s squash team, in which members easily took the matches that they were expected to win but failed to topple perennial squash giants from Brown and Middlebury. Maxwell sported the only winning set between the two matchups with her lone victorious set against Middlebury on the first day of the tournament.
With the round robin all wrapped up, the women’s squash team sits on an even 2-2 record going into its first homestand this weekend in which it will play host to a slew of teams with Tufts, Wellesley, Smith, William Smith, and Vassar all making the trip to Middletown. All five teams rank between #22-#27, several slots below the 18th-ranked Wesleyan. On paper, Wesleyan is poised to have a very successful weekend in front of its home crowd, but squash isn’t played on paper; the Cardinals still must go out and compete.