by Tom Utescher
Last Thursday the racquetmen of Springside Chestnut Hill Academy travelled to Haverford School to play what was considered the most challenging squash match of the 2013 portion of the current season.
With former national champion Episcopal Academy not as talent-rich as in past years, SCH and Haverford are viewed as the top contenders for the Inter-Ac League and Mid-Atlantic titles, and the Blue Devils got an early leg up in the race with a 7-2 decision over the Fords last week.
First up on the docket at Haverford were the odd-numbered matches, with the exception of the number one bout. The visiting Blue Devils captured three of these fours contests, which all extended to four games.
At number three, Fords junior Jay Losty won the opening round, 11-6, but SCH senior Mason Blake then took the next three games at five, nine, and eight points. After Blue Devils junior Matt Giegerich began with an 11-7 win at number five, sophomore Justin Shah of the host team clawed out a 13-11 victory in the second stanza to tie the match. Giegerich then regrouped to post convincing wins in the last two games, 11-2, 11-5.
Springside Chestnut Hill also won in the ninth spot, courtesy of freshman Zane Jeka, who topped 10th-grader Will Means, 10-12, 11-2, 11-9, 11-8. The lone early victory for the Fords came at number seven, where senior Henry Ortmeyer downed visiting junior Michael Bown, 7-11, 11-4, 11-2, 11-7.
The first match of the “evens” to be completed was number eight, even though this was another four-game affair. Here, SCH junior Brian Hamilton prevailed, 9-11, 11-7, 11-8, 11-5 over sophomore Jimmy Tricolli, pushing the team score to 4-1, with the visitors now just one win away from an overall victory.
The Devils soon added not one win, but two, as the fourth and sixth bouts finished up right about the same time. The elder of the Giegerich brothers, Brian (a senior), dispatched Duncan Joyce, a Fords freshman, 11-6, 12-10, 11-3, while an SCH ninth-grader, Chris Dalglish, won 11-2, 11-4, 14-12 over his senior host, Dylan Henderson.
Haverford’s only other win came at number two, where SCH’s Phil Kelly was playing his first match of the season after rehabbing from a soccer injury. He succumbed to a fellow senior, Haverford’s Thomas Walker, 11-6, 12-10, 11-3.
At the end, though, the Blue Devils were able to underscore their team triumph with a win in the number one match, where senior Sean Kenny overcame Fords junior Sean Hughes, 13-11, 11-5, 9-11, 11-6. Kenny actually began his high school squash career at Haverford, while Hughes started his at Episcopal.
After facing a less-imposing opponent, Malvern, in their last match before the holiday break, the Blue Devils will return to action when they host Episcopal on January 7.