Last week Springside Chestnut Hill sophomore Michael Bown avenged a loss in the Blue Devils’ December match against Haverford School, winning a five-game battle in the eighth spot. (Photo by Tom Utescher)

by Tom Utescher

Their second confrontation with reigning national champion Episcopal Academy behind them, the boys’ squash squad at Springside Chestnut Hill Academy resumed rolling over the rest of the opposition last week. The Blue Devils chalked up convincing 8-1 victories in Tuesday’s non-league match at Germantown Friends and in an Inter-Ac League clash against visiting Haverford School two days later.

With Episcopal accounting for SCH’s only setbacks so far this season, the local racquetmen made it past the middle of January with a league record of 4-2 and an overall mark of 6-2.

“We’ve got a great group of guys on the team this year,” stated Blue Devils coach Mike Jefferys. “They all get along well, the older guys help the younger guys, and they’re very well-behaved at matches. A lot of the other teams have made positive comments about our sportsmanship.”

For Tuesday’s trip down to the Germantown Cricket Club (the home venue for GFS), the Devils took an altered line-up that did not include juniors Phil Kelly and Mason Blake, the regular number one and two players. A third Blue Devil was also held out of the match, sophomore number nine Brian Hamilton.

Sean Kenny, who just this semester transferred from Haverford to Springside Chestnut Hill, saw action in the top spot against GFS. The new SCH junior made an auspicious debut, winning 11-9, 11-8, 11-7 against a strong competitor, Tigers senior Max McCafferty.

Germantown Friends whiz kid Calvin McCafferty, Max’s ninth-grade brother, saved the hosts from a sweep by winning the number two contest over visiting junior Brian Giegerich, 8-11, 11-4, 11-7, 11-7. The other half of one of SCH’s own sibling tandems, sophomore Matt Giegerich, won at number three against GFS senior David Sneed, 12-10, 11-2, 11-8.

From there on down the ladder, the Blue Devils won each bout in three straight games, with one exception. In the eighth match, Germantown senior Sam York opened with an 11-3 win, but visiting freshman Henry Kelly (Phil’s brother) bounced back to capture the next two games, 11-6, 12-10. York forced a fifth game by winning the fourth round at 11-8, then Kelly reversed that score in the deciding segment for a 3-2 victory.

Fellow SCH freshman Harrison Kapp defeated yet another ninth-grader, Felipe Sanz, in the number nine match, and the Devils also received wins from their two seniors, number four Christian Dorff (over GFS sophomore Ben Caraballo) and number five Peter Ferraro (against Tigers senior Drew Wallace).

A pair of sophomores engaged in the sixth spot, where SCH’s Michael Bown beat Anand Butler of the host team, and at number seven Butler’s twin brother, Satya, succumbed to Blue Devils junior Carlen Veasey.

Due to his intra-league transfer, SCH’s Kenny was ineligible to play against his old school, Haverford, on Thursday afternoon. This simply set the Devils’ line-up back to where it had been much of the season, a successful arrangement for the most part.

Back in his number one spot, Phil Kelly overcame the Fords’ Thomas Walker, 11-9, 12-10, 11-1, while at number two Blake took a bite out of Ian Rothweiler, 11-5, 11-6, 11-5. Brian Giegerich, once more at number three, had a tougher match against Haverford’s Jay Losty, the brother of the top player on Penn Charter’s girls’ team, Margaux Losty.

Giegerich began with 11-5, 11-9 victories, but Losty prolonged the match by taking the next two, 12-10, 11-9. An 11-8 fifth game went to Giegerich, whose brother Matt took out Drew Field in the fourth spot, 11-9, 11-6, 11-5.

SCH’s Dorff and Haverford’s Jason Shein met in the middle, and Shein’s 11-7, 12-10, 10-12, 11-5 win at number five saved his squad from a whitewash. The Devils resumed their winning ways in the sixth match thanks to Ferraro’s favorable outcome in a duel with Dylan Henderson.

After dropping the opener, 6-11, Henderson battled back for wins in the next two rounds, 15-13, 11-6. Regrouping, Ferraro won out at 11-7, 11-9 to put another “W” in the Blue Devils’ column.

For once, SCH number seven Dalglish came up against a player the same age, Haverford eighth-grader Duncan Joyce. Competing in the same age bracket in junior tournaments, the two have squared off more than once before, and in this instance familiarity bred success for the Blue Devils player, who triumphed 11-7, 11-6, 11-9.

To complete a convincing team victory for Springside Chestnut Hill, both Bown and Hamilton were able to avenge defeats they suffered in the first bout against the Fords. In the ninth position, a 3-1 decision broke down into three 11-7 wins for Hamilton, with Haverford’s Jon Ruth taking the third game of the four, 11-9.

Bown and opposing number eight Justin Shah went back and forth, with games one and three going to SCH (both at 11-5), and the second and fourth frames falling to the Fords (11-9, 11-4). Bown’s 11-7 fifth game wrapped up the affair, contributing to an impressive showing against a team that had only lost to Episcopal by a 5-4 count one week earlier.