Squash Teams Close Out Phenomenal Year
by Charlie Blasberg on Friday, March 8th, 2013
On the weekend of February 23, the Milton Squash teams traveled to the New England Interscholastic Championships. Both the boys and girls hoped to cap off very successful seasons in which both teams were second in the ISL. The 13-1 boys team headed to Deerfield for New Englands, just a few days after dropping a hard-fought ISL Championship match to Belmont Hill. New Englands has a unique format in which each player is in an individual tournament against every other school’s player of the same position. For example, if a player is #4 on a team, he will play in an individual tournament with only the other #4s. Milton’s matches began Friday night, with Milton’s #1 player, Cody Cortes (II). Unfortunately, Cortes drew Deerfield’s top-ranked player, Egyptian Osama Khalifa. Cortes’ draw was, in his words, “unlucky but uncontrollable,” and he gave Khalifa a valiant effort in his 3-0 loss (Khalifa went on to win the tournament). The matches continued with Milton’s 2 through 7 players dropping only 1 match. The Mustangs’ success continued through Saturday, where Carson Spahr (III), Will McBrian (I), Charlie Blasberg (II), and Tucker Hamlin (I) all found themselves in the semi-finals of their respective draws. Spahr pulled off the upset of the tournament in his semi-final versus Taft’s Andrew Cadienhead, one of America’s top junior players. Spahr made quick work of his opponent, finishing the match in just under 30 minutes to put himself in the final. Tucker Hamlin steamrolled through his draw, playing with confidence and professionalism, to secure his spot in the final as well. Though Will McBrian lost his semi-final, he faced Deerfield’s Tripp Kaelin in the 3-4 playoff, a player whom McBrian has faced many times in junior tournaments but had never beaten. This time, however, was different, as McBrian shocked Kaelin on his home court in a hard-fought 5-game victory in his last high school match. McBrian said, “I have always had battles with Tripp, so it was very rewarding to finally take one, especially at that setting.” Overall, the Mustangs finished in 5th on the weekend, only one point out of 4th and three points out of 3rd. Despite a slightly disappointing result, Boys Squash had an outstanding season overall, and the seniors will leave behind a tradition of success unlike any other in the history of Milton squash.
The 11-2 girls’ squash team traveled to Brooks for their New England Championships. Captain Lillie Simourian (I) noted that the squad was especially deep this year, which gave them an advantage over teams that could not produce in the bottom half of their line-ups. The girls arrived at Brooks on Friday night and started play on Saturday morning, with most of the players winning their first round matches. The team’s depth shone through at this tournament as Charlotte Zonis (III) finished third in her draw and the team’s fourth through sixth, — which consists of Marina Hartnick (II), Jessica Conway (IV), and Lydia Emerson (I), — all finished in the top 6 of their respective draws. Overall, the girls finished 6th in New England. Simourian said “Our 6th place finish was lower than expected, but it was a very strong finish considering our draws consisted of the best and second best teams in the country: Greenwich Academy and Deerfield Academy.” The team’s depth will serve them well going forward, as the younger players advancing from the JV program will have an opportunity to step up. Simourian said, “There isn’t a huge difference between me at #1 and Madeline Barnes (IV) at #10.” Look out for this team as a force to be reckoned with for years to come.
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