Wednesday, 4 PM: as the varsity and JV teams finished up their matches with Avon, the stage was set for a good old-fashioned battle royale – a West Side Story-style rumble that promised to shake the squash world to its core. On one side, the hometown boys’ thirds team, half of them sporting matching post-vacation haircuts; on the other, the quasi-visiting, highly motivated, well-coached Bement squad. After an anxious series of introductions and an unusually coordinated team cheer, play commenced.
The fellas were coming back from a full week off (Long Winter Weekend followed by a nighttime math contest), and despite a lengthy warmup, the rust was evident from the first point. Notably, Justin, Ethan, and Smitty all lost their first games, and although they all battled hard in the second, momentum shifted in the third, as all three players ended up down 2-1. However, as the song goes, all you really need is heart, and we had plenty of it. While Alex caught fire, giving up only seven points in the last two games, Ethan went right down to the wire – saving a match point in the fourth as he won the game 15-13, and going down 10-6 in the last game before ripping off six points in a row to win! While Justin’s opponent outplayed him in the last game, Coach Speer was more than pleased to be sitting at a 2-1 score after the first round.
Elliot put our third point on the board, moving past two tight games to win in four, before we turned to our senior leader, Alex Kaminsky, to clinch in straight sets at the #5 spot. We all appreciated Matthew’s all-court game as he eked out a couple of close ones, and Nathan finished the day coming up just short against Bement’s talented #1.
The small but mighty exhibition crew cleaned up on the end court, needing only six non-overtime games to finish the job.
Thanks to Mrs. Smith for her support today. Our record stands at 8-3, but we’ve saved some tough matches to end the season: rematches with Suffield and Choate, and a battle against Coach Speer’s former employer.
Deerfield 5, Bement 2
Nathan Hu lost 19-17, 11-7, 12-10
Justin Lui lost 9-11, 11-7, 14-12, 11-5
Matthew Wuyan won 11-5, 15-13, 11-9
Ethan Kelly won 1-11, 9-11, 11-9, 15-13, 12-10
Alex Kaminsky won 11-0, 11-9, 11-8
Alex Smith won 9-11, 11-4, 9-11, 11-4, 11-3
Elliot Flagg won 12-10, 9-11, 11-3, 11-9
Johnny Glinton 11-9, 11-3, 11-7
Joseph Mollo won 11-8, 11-2, 11-6