by Tom Utescher
The boys of Springside Chestnut Hill Academy and the girls of Germantown Friends School ended their high school seasons with third-place finishes at the Mid-Atlantic Squash Association Championships.
Both were held on the second Saturday of February but were staged at different venues; the boys were at Lawrenceville School while the girls performed at Episcopal Academy. Several days before the main event each team played one preliminary match, with winners moving into the main draw semifinals while the losing teams played in a consolation bracket.
In its midweek MASA opener, SCH chalked up wins for seniors Augie Frank, Alex Ambrosini, and Sam Sheppard, juniors Alex McCall and Christian Dorff, sophomores Philip Kelly, Brian Giegerich and Mason Blake, and freshman Matt Giegerich in a 9-0 sweep of the Germantown Friends boys.
In the same round, the Penn Charter boys fell, 3-6, to Lawrenceville School.
SCH moved into the semifinals to face Haverford School. The two teams had not been able to fit in their second regular-season Inter-Ac League match, so this contest figured into the league standings as well as the MASA tourney. SCH had lost the first time, 4-5, and was hoping to swing one more individual bout its way, but instead the Fords picked up an extra “W” to top the Blue Devils, 6-3.
The winners for the local franchise were Frank, at number two, Dorff at number seven, and Matt Giegerich at number eight. Haverford would lose in the finals to the Episcopal boys, who are also the scholastic national champions.
Meanwhile, SCH went into the third-place playoff and breezed past Lawrenceville, 8-1. The last bout that was going to be played was the number one match involving McCall and former SCH student Nick Schreiber, but with the team outcome already decided and time growing short, the match was decided by a coin flip which Schreiber won.
In the boys’ consolation bracket, GFS and PC played for fifth place. Reversing a regular-season result, Germantown won, 5-4, thanks to victories by senior Diego Sanz (#3), juniors Max McCafferty (#1) and Drew Wallace (#5), freshman Anand Butler (#9), and eighth-grader Calvin McCafferty (#4).
In Penn Charter’s 3-6 setback against Lawrenceville in the first round of the championships, the Quakers acquired their three wins from senior Luke Schreiber, sophomore Quin Crofton, and freshman Owen Davis. In the encounter with GFS that followed, the winners for PC were Crofton, Davis, senior Alex Reisley, and junior Scott Marcus.
In MASA competition for the girls’ teams, there were nothing but victories the whole way for Germantown Friends’ top four (in playing order), sophomore Olivia Fiechter, seniors Carey Celata and Lydie McKenzie, and freshman Grayson Melby. In the final bout for third place in the event, the Tigers added wins by junior Anna Bezahler (#6), sophomore Claire Schmidt (#7), and freshmen Annie Tyson (#5), and Hannah Safford (#9) as they took down Lawrenceville, 8-1.
Earlier in the week, the Tigers started their MASA run with a 7-2 home-court win over the SCH girls team in a first-round meeting. The top six players prevailed for GFS, as did junior number eight Lauren Shinn. In the semifinals the top four Tigers triumphed, but a 5-4 team victory went to host Episcopal, which in turn lost in the finals to champion Baldwin School.
In SCH’s first match, the Lions’ two wins came from senior number seven Ellie Stout and junior number nine Hannah Baxter. These two players also won in the first consolation-round match at MASA, and seniors Sam Blake (#5) and Kelly Brady (#6) and sophomore Nina Nalle (#8) were also successful in a 5-4 victory over Penn Charter.
Next, the Lions avenged a regular-season loss dating back to the very beginning of the season, forging a 6-3 decision over the combination team from two Main Line high schools, Harriton and Lower Merion. Once again, SCH was victorious at positions five through nine, and the other win came from sophomore Francesca Fabiani at number three.
In both its 4-5 loss to SCH in the consolation bracket and in a 4-5 shortfall against Episcopal in the first round, Penn Charter got the customary strong showing from its top four players. Seniors Tara Harrington and Amanda Roberts held down the first and third spots, respectively, with sophomore Margaux Losty at number two and freshman Izzy Hirshberg at number four.