Girls and Boys Squash Come Out on Top at Nationals in Philly
by Haley Hunt on Friday, February 26th, 2016
Girl’s Varsity Squash team entered Nationals ranked 6th in the Patterson Cup (Division 1). Leading up to the weekend of Feb. 13-14, the team had a nearly unblemished regular season, with just one loss to 4th seeded Deerfield. The team’s first match at Nationals was against a local Philadelphia school. Milton battled against the crowds and a strong opponent to come out on top 5-2, with captain Caroline Conway (I) winning a hard-fought four game battle at the 4th position. This victory guaranteed them a finish as one of the top eight teams in the country.
Milton next met the third-seeded Episcopal Academy in the quarterfinals. Milton fought to a tough 6-1 loss, with the sole victory coming from Raneem El Torky (II) at the first position. Down 2-1 in games, she fought off four match points to come back and win in a thrilling five-set battle. Next was Greenwich Academy Varsity B, a solid team that boasted terrific depth across their ladder. Milton triumphed 5-2 in another well-played match to set a clash versus Nobles for fifth place. Unfortunately, Milton fell just short, 4-3, in a grueling battle. Straight game wins from Raneem El Torky, Caroline Spahr (IV) at #2, and Eliza Bower (I) at #7 propelled the team to a strong start. The matches the team lost were incredibly close, with Sarah Willwerth’s (II) five game battle being a highlight. The team will look forward to a rematch against Nobles on Monday for the ISL title, where they will need to secure just four wins to earn the title.
The boy’s team came to Nationals ranked 6th in the third division. They faced Mercersburg Academy (PA) in the first match, where they fell in a close 4-3 match. Wins came from Sam Hitt (I) at #2, Rajiv Ram (I) at #3, and David Jones (I) at #7. Tarin Karimbux (I) played an incredible match at the fourth position, where he was edged 11-9 in the fifth game.
Next, Milton faced the Friends Academy from Locust Valley (NY) , one of the strongest teams in the tournament. Milton fell 6-1, with David Jones winning a in a commanding straight games. Unfortunately, in the middle of the fifth and deciding game, Christian Loop (III) was forced to forfeit his match at #1 due to injury. In their next match, the boys went on to beat St. Paul’s in a dominant 6-1 win. Three game wins from Sam Hitt, Rajiv Ram, Tarin Karimbux, and Andrew Lu (I)—who stepped in at #7 in Christian’s absence—helped propel the team towards the Plate Finals against the Dalton School.
In the end, Milton lost 4-3 to the Dalton School (NY). Dalton had a particularly strong top half of the ladder, and Milton’s wins came in straight games at #5, #6, and #7. Despite a rather tough finish, the team’s camaraderie and fighting spirit helped them to play some terrific squash, making this season a Nationals that their six seniors can certainly cherish moving forward. On Monday, February 22, the boys team fended off Nobles 4-3 with help from Rajiv to win another game this season.
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