by Tom Utescher
After winning the 2011 Mid-Atlantic Squash Association tournament title on January 29, Chestnut Hill Academy remained on a roll last week in a home match against familiar rival Germantown Friends. The host Blue Devils won all of the nine official individual matches and captured two exhibition bouts, as well, losing a total of one game in the process.
Going into the MASA tourney at Lawrenceville School, Chestnut Hill’s lone loss in head-to-head competition had been a 4-5 setback at Episcopal Academy. The Devils did not get to meet the Churchmen directly at the tournament, though. While CHA claimed its third 5-4 victory over Haverford School this season in the semifinal round at MASA, Episcopal was suffering a 3-6 upset in the other semifinal at the hands of the host team, Lawrenceville.
There was no more magic for the Big Red, as they succumbed in the championship match to the Devils, who won handily, 7-2. The GFS Tigers placed fifth in Division I at the tournament, while six other teams, including Penn Charter, competed in a second division.
Going into last Wednesday’s contest, CHA had not played since winning MASA, but GFS had already engaged in two matches earlier in the week. The Tigers blanked Conestoga High School on Monday to attain a 7-1 record, but they were shut out in turn by Episcopal Academy the following afternoon.
Almost two months earlier, CHA had defeated GFS in a seven-match encounter, winning 6-1 at Germantown Cricket Club. At home last Wednesday, the Devils truly overpowered the Tigers. Although he has switched from left to right-handed play this winter due to a chronic injury, Hill resident Sam Conant was the only GFS player to win a game in the rematch. Nevertheless, the sophomore went down to CHA freshman Mason Blake in the ninth spot, 11-2, 8-11, 11-8, 11-6.
In a pair of 3-0 exhibition contests, CHA freshman Brian Giegerich won over Germantown sophomore Sam York, and sophomore Christian Dorff defeated Tigers senior Max Kaplan.
In the early official matches played on Chestnut Hill’s two gallery courts, CHA senior number three Peter Lynn won, 11-9, 11-3, 12-10, against visiting junior Deigo Sanz, while next door Blue Devils junior Augie Frank took the number five match over Tigers senior Ben York, 11-4, 11-9, 11-8.
Elsewhere, senior Nick DiDonato, the number six for Chestnut Hill, got by GFS sophomore David Sneed, 11-7, 11-1, 12-10, and at number seven freshman Philip Kelly of the Devils posted scores of 11-8, 11-7, 11-8 in defeating Tigers senior Cole McCourt. Junior Alex Ambrosini of the host team topped Germantown sophomore Drew Wallace in the eighth spot, 11-8, 11-4, 11-6.
Back on the gallery courts, GFS number four Max McCafferty gave fellow sophomore Alex McCall a battle in each of their three games, but the CHA player won them all by identical scores, 11-9.
Speaking of “identical,” McCall’s twin brother Peter was observing the match, having returned home from Egypt six days earlier. A Penn Charter student as a freshman, Peter had been spending his sophomore year honing his squash skills while attending the American School in Cairo. At the very beginning of the current unrest he was able to make his way home on commercial airlines, although he had to make a junket to Amman, Jordan before he could find a direct flight to the U.S.
After Alex McCall’s victory, Wednesday’s action concluded with four seniors competing in the top two spots. Both Chestnut Hill players appeared to gather momentum from game to game; Anderson Good won, 11-6, 11-4, 11-2 against visiting number two Alex Nalle, and Blue Devils number one Jack Maine overcame the Tigers’ Dan Sneed, 11-7, 11-4, 11-2.
While several of the seniors on the two teams are still sorting out their college choices, decisions have been made by CHA’s Maine (Penn), Lynn (St. Lawrence), and DiDonato (Drexel), and by McCourt (Penn) and Kaplan (Brown) of GFS.