“There’s no place like home.” – Dorothy, “The Wizard of Oz”
Deerfield took on Eagle Hill in its home opener this Wednesday afternoon; following victories by the varsity and JV teams against Loomis, we had a chance to put Deerfield at 3-0 on the day. The visitors, playing only their second season of interscholastic squash, brought eight boys, and we responded in kind: led by a pair of borrowed JV men (Alfi “Ace” Auersperg and Tommy “Grandpa” Whiteley), and rounded out with Carl “Djokovic” Grant, Tai “Tie” Thongthai, Gideon “Ice” Yektai, Christian “Wolfgang Puck” Yiu, Justin “Smokey” Lui, and Taylor “McGwire” Roberts.
We were able to play on the “show courts,” sending the even-numbered players out first. The theme of the day became clear early on, as Deerfield found advantages on the lower-numbered courts while facing an uphill battle on the higher ones. Tai played a rock-steady match at #4, remaining calm as his opponent scrambled and hustled to prolong points. Christian, our three-year veteran, gritted his teeth to squeak out a tight first game, getting by with a little more breathing room to close out his match. Tommy, one of two of last year’s team to graduate to the next level, had a tough task at #2; he competed hard but ultimately came up short. Taylor, our lone exhibition player, slugged line-drive serves and refused to let his opponent get comfortable on the court, notching the first win of his career.
The odds did just enough to get the job done: Justin, whose serve came and went and came and went, squeaked out a crucial third game with a few well-placed bombs. He confidently took the fourth game to put us up 3-1, needing only one match to clinch. Alfi, facing a barrage of rails from their #1, went down in three, leaving Gideon and Carl on court. Carl, sliding as if the court was made of clay, received great advice from Robby Dewey ’17 and turned things around in the third game, but fell in the fourth, victim of a series of hard and confusing serves. Luckily, seconds after Carl finished, Gideon did what he does best – calmly closing out a third tight game to move to 12-0 in his thirds squash career.
All in all, it was a fun and productive day for both sides, and we hope to schedule a rematch for later in the season. A few hours of class remain before break – good luck to all, and see you in 2016.
Deerfield 4, Eagle Hill 3
Alfi Auersperg (D) lost 11-1, 11-5, 11-6
Tommy Whiteley (D) lost 11-7, 11-6, 11-8
Carl Grant (D) lost 11-7, 11-5, 6-11, 11-7
Tai Thongthai (D) won 11-7, 11-6, 11-7
Gideon Yektai (D) won 11-8, 12-10, 12-10
Christian Yiu (D) won 12-10, 11-7, 11-9
Justin Lui (D) won 11-2, 7-11, 12-10, 11-6
Taylor Roberts (D) won 11-3, 11-5, 11-4