By OLIVIA MATTYASOVSZKY
In the first regular season matches of the year, the men’s squash team proved its worthiness of its No. 12 ranking. Cornell handily beat Middlebury and Williams over the weekend, both by a score of 8-1. Middlebury and Williams are ranked 17th and 15th in the nation, respectively.
Despite the dominant performances, the team still sees areas that they to focus on going forward.
“Both wins on Saturday were solid overall performances from the team but also showed that there’s a lot of room for improvement,” said freshman Perry Hanson. “There is a lot of work to be done from now until January, when we face much higher ranked teams. It was important to get two wins under our belt so we can go into the more important Ivy matches with confidence.”
Against Middlebury, junior Harry Freeman in the number one spot defeated Middlebury’s number one, Andrew Jung. Junior Kevin Flannery won the number two spot against opponent David Cromwell, though Cornell dropped the number three matchup with freshman standout Perry Hanson dropping the match to Middlebury’s Wyatt French. The numbers four through 10 spots all won their matches, including Jordan Brail, Gustav Runersjo, Ben Francis, Graham Dietz, Augie Jones, Andrew Stone and Liad Hare. The only match that went all five sets was the number one spot, between junior Harry Freeman and Andrew Jung. Flannery’s match went to four sets, as well as Hanson’s, Dietz’s and Jones’.
After Middlebury, Cornell faced Williams. This time spots one through five all won their matches. Freeman’s set was particularly exciting, losing the first two sets, 8-11 and 7-11. But he came back to win the last three matches, 11-7, 11-9 and 11-8. This time around, freshman Ben Francis dropped the number six spot for the only loss on Cornell’s score sheet. Senior Graham Dietz, junior Augie Jones, junior Andrew Stone and freshman Liad Hare all won their matches, though Hare’s went to five sets. He and his opponent Varun Sharma traded sets with scores of 11-7, 7-11, 11-9, 8-11, to push the match to a tie breaking fifth set. Hare took home the win with a tiebreaking score of 11-8.
On the women’s side, the team beat both Middlebury and Williams without surrendering a match. Against No. 14 Middlebury, No. 6 Cornell defended its standings easily, with eight players winning their matches in straight sets.
Against No. 12 Williams, the women’s team once again delivered a solid performance. Seven matches were won in just three sets, Michele Garceau and Hannah Scherl were particularly dominant, never allowing their opponents to score more than six points. Number four Emma Uible’s match went to four sets, 7-11, 11-8, 11-5 and 11-4. Junior Sydney Francis’s match was more hotly contested, going to five sets. After losing the first two, 5-11 and 3-11, Francis stormed back and took the next three sets 11-7, 11-8 and 11-5.
“It’s a great way to start the season because it was our first match of the year so it was a nice confidence boost for the whole team because we were able to get our footing,” Francis said.