Squash Cannot Overcome Difficult Travel Schedule

By Stephen Etna

The men’s and women’s squash teams took to the road this past weekend, Jan. 18 and 19, taking on Williams and Drexel in an arduous weekend doubleheader that saw them travel to Williamstown, Mass. and Philadelphia.

One of the more overlooked aspect of small college athletics is the time spent traveling; without large enough budgets to fund air travel, many of our athletes spend as much time each weekend on a bus as they do practicing during the week. This was the case for the squash teams this weekend.

At Williams, play started early in the afternoon with a tight matchup between the female players. Losing matches in two of the top three slots, Middlebury rebounded well with consecutive wins at the fifth through seventh slots, including a well deserved win by Katie Dewey ’15, who, after losing the first two games in her match, came back and won three consecutive games to take her match.

Strong play also came from Zoey Carey ’16, who continued her recent stretch of impressive victories. Middlebury dropped the last two matches and fell to Williams 5-4.

The men, ranked 19th nationally, took on the 18th-ranked Ephs later that day and fell to a similar fate. Parker Hurst ’14 took an impressive victory at the first slot off of Williams’ top player, which was the only victory Middlebury would take from Williams in the top half of the lineup. The afternoon was filled with matches that went to the maximum of five games, of which the Panthers won only three.

The lone bright spot for Middlebury was the play of Robert Galluccio ’15, who was in complete control of his opponent from Williams, making short work of him en route to victory in just three games.

Sunday was no kinder than Saturday to the Panthers, with both teams losing again at Drexel. 14th-ranked Drexel came up victorious against the 17th-ranked women’s squash team of Middlebury, in a very close match.

Middlebury’s Abby Jenkins ’14 started play off with a hard-fought victory in the top slot, beating her opponent in three games, and wasting no time doing so. Drexel would prove a tough opponent, however, as Middlebury would not claim another match in the top half of the lineup.

Just like the day before at Williams, Carey and Dewey both played strong matches, and picked up their second victories of the weekend. Unfortunately, those would be the last matches the women’s team would win on the weekend, as they fell to Drexel 6-3.

The men, facing a Drexel team ranked 15th nationally, played in a back and forth match that came down to the wire.

With surprising losses in the top of the lineup, Will Moore ’14 got the Panthers off on the right track with an efficient three-game victory over his opponent from Drexel. Middlebury would then go on to garner wins from Harrison Croll ’16, a dominant win from Reed Palmer ’15 as well as Galluccio’s second win of the weekend, but it would not be enough, as Middlebury would fall 5-4 to the Dragons of Drexel.

“It was a tough weekend with a lot of traveling,” Moore said. “This is by no means a step back. We feel really strong and we’re going into next weekend hungry for some wins.”

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