by Tom Utescher
Over the years the boys’ squash rivalry between Springside Chestnut Hill Academy and Penn Charter has produced some knock-down, drag-out battles, but the first meeting between the teams in the 2012-2013 campaign wasn’t one of them.
With none of the individual bouts extending past four games in last Tuesday’s match at SCH, the host Blue Devils swept the Quakers, 9-0, improving to 2-1. The Blue Devils had also blanked Malvern Prep to open the season, then they fell to defending national champion Episcopal Academy, 3-6, on December 4.
Penn Charter went home with a 2-2 record that included an earlier loss to Haverford School and victories over Malvern and Shipley School.
Springside Chestnut Hill’s number six player, senior Peter Ferraro, and the number seven, eighth-grader Chris Dalglish, have won in all of their three outings this season. Because of a vacancy in the line-up when SCH travelled to Episcopal, sophomore Brian Hamilton moved up to join the varsity in the ninth position, and provided the Blue Devils with their third win against the Churchmen.
Last Tuesday, Ferraro faced fellow senior August Crofton, and overcame the visiting number six, 11-7, 11-8, 11-8. Dalglish kept his streak going, as well. After he opened with an 11-2 blitz, Charter junior Noah Hollin clawed back to prevail 11-8 in the second segment. Dalglish, who was also a member of the Blue Devils’ varsity golf team this fall, captured the next two games at four and five.
Michael Bown, an SCH sophomore who missed the Episcopal clash due to injury, was back in his customary eighth spot against PC, dropping the first game to junior Quinn Crofton, 8-11, then taking the next three, 11-4, 11-2, 11-5. At number nine, visiting sophomore Aidan Porges succumbed to Devils junior Carlen Veasey, who won in straight games at four, four, and eight.
Another three-game tilt occurred when two seniors met right in the middle of the line-up, with SCH number five Christian Dorff doing in Charter’s Scott Marcus, 11-4, 11-5, 11-6.
As a sophomore last winter, Springside Chestnut Hill’s Phil Kelly was stationed at number three most of the time. With Augie Frank now a freshman at the University of Pennsylvania and with the transfer of Alex McCall (who would’ve been a senior this season), Kelly has taken on the mantle of the number one player for the Blue Devils.
Last Tuesday, his 11-7, 11-7, 11-9 win over Quakers’ senior Randy Beck
wasn’t as simple as the score might indicate, as there were many extended rallies between the two, who have been playing one another since they were youngsters. Each made some impressive shots; at one point Kelly slid halfway across the court on his knees and retrieved a ball from that position. One of the longest exchanges came on match point, which Kelly won when a shot by Beck died down in the front left corner.
At number two, PC senior Max Reiff put up more resistance as his match progressed, but Mason Blake, a junior on the host team, still wrapped it up in three games, yielding three, five and finally nine points to his rival.
Penn Charter has the Crofton brothers, and SCH also has siblings on its squad, junior number three Brian Giegerich and his brother Matt, one year younger and one rung down on the Blue Devils’ team ladder.
There were many hard fought points between the older Giegerich and Quakers number three Luke Angelakis before the SCH 11th-grader came out on top, 10-12, 11-8, 11-5, 11-6. Matt Giegerich and another sophomore, PC’s Owen Davis, also went four games in their set-to in the fourth spot, with SCH winning once more, 11-3, 9-11, 11-2, 11-4.
UPDATE: Springside Chestnut Hill closed out the week, and the 2012 portion of its season, with a 6-3 road win over Haverford. Along with the Blue Devils, Haverford is considered one of the major title contenders challenging league champ Episcopal. SCH picked up its victories from Kelly (3-0), Blake (3-1), Brian Geigerich (3-2), Matt Geigerich (3-1), Dorff (3-0) and Ferraro (3-0).