January 22, 2007

Squash Teams Have Tough Weekend at Home

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Men’s and women’s squash stayed home in Ithaca this weekend, hosting Yale and Williams. Both Cornell teams were shut out by Yale, 9-0, and beaten by Williams, 8-1.
The men’s team (3-8, 0-4 Ivy) was overwhelmeed by Yale in the early match on Saturday. The matchup was highlighted by a spirited five-setter at the top of the order, with No. 1 freshman Chris Sachvie battling against Yale No. 1 Nick Chirls. In the unofficial Ivy League scrimmages, Sachvie had his way with Chirls, posting an impressive straight-sets win over the veteran by using a versatile all-around game and excellent disguise and deception on his strokes. Chirls, however, raised his game and adjusted in the regular season encounter to win the final two sets, 10-8 and 10-8.
The Red was also disappointed with its result against Williams. Sachvie fought hard but eventually lost a heartbreaker, 9-7, in the fifth set to Williams’ Jon Barry.
Senior captain Rohit Gupta, however, managed to pull out the only win for the Red in the No. 3 spot. Gupta overwhelmed Williams’ Tony Maduca in four sets, riding his unorthodox game to another victory.
Gupta, the team’s elder statesmen and one of the only returning members from last year’s squad, relied on his trademark guile to outsmart his opponent. Often using unusual plays like a dropshot from deep in the court, he turned the affair into a cat-and-mouse game, prevailing over a more conventional opponent.
“Other than Gupta … we could have played a lot better against Williams, especially,” junior Mike Gelinas said. “We had a shot to beat Williams, but we didn’t show it.”
Gelinas, who also lost both of his matches for the Red, emphasized how important it was to gain experience in matches like these.
“It’s not fun to see a lot of losses on the column, but we are a young team … we have to continue to improve our games individually — sometimes it’s not about the wins and losses.”
The women’s team (5-6, 0-4), meanwhile, achieved identical results but was far happier with its overall performance. The Red did not have enough firepower or depth to play with Yale’s nationally contending team but rebounded to post a more competitive result in an 8-1 loss to Williams.
“You can always take something positive away from a match,” women’s head coach Julee DeVoy said. “Although we lost a lot of sets, the score is not a good indicator of the competitiveness of the match … there were a lot of long, hard rallies. We just couldn’t win enough of them.”
Freshman Annie Ritter continued her strong play at the No. 6 spot by recording Cornell’s only win of the weekend.
The women’s team has been pleased with its performance not only this weekend, but since winter recess began. Since that time, it has posted several wins, most notably a 5-4 victory over No. 9 Bates. With that in mind, the Red continues to build toward its showdown with rival Brown in three weeks.