by Tom Utescher
Undefeated in regular-season matches this winter, the Blue Devils of Springside Chestnut Hill Academy underscored their status as the top boys team in the Philadelphia area by winning the Mid-Atlantic Squash Association High School Championships, which were held at Lawrenceville School on the last weekend of January.
The victorious franchise consisted of seniors Mason Blake, Brian Giegerich, Phil Kelly, and Sean Kenny, juniors Michael Bown, Matt Giegerich, and Brian Hamilton, and freshmen Chris Dalglish and Zane Jeka.
In the final order of finish for the seven Division 1 teams, Haverford School was runner-up and Episcopal Academy was third, followed by Harriton/Lower Merion, Lawrenceville, the Haverford “B” team, and Germantown Friends.
Springside Chestnut Hill enjoyed a bye to start out the tournament, while in first-round action it was Haverford A over Lawrenceville, Episcopal over GFS, and HLM over Haverford B. In the main draw semifinals, SCH topped HLM and Haverford A bested Episcopal, with 9-0 outcomes in both cases. In the consolation bracket, Lawrenceville edged out GFS, 5-4, while Haverford B was awarded a bye.
The Blue Devils then beat Haverford A for the championship, 8-1, while the same score earned Episcopal third-place honors over HLM. In the fifth/sixth playoff, Lawrenceville got by with another 5-4 score, this time against Haverford B.
In Division 2, the SCH B team won by default in the first round, knocked of Shipley in the semifinals, 8-1, and then shaded Penn Charter in the final round, 5-4. PC had reached the championship match with wins over Radnor High School and Conestoga High School.
At the same time, the girls’ MASA tournament was taking place at Episcopal Academy. Here, too, the team that went undefeated throughout the regular season claimed the title, and that was Baldwin School. The Bears defeated Episcopal in the Division 1 championship match by a 6-3 count.
The Germantown Friends girls won in the opening round against Penn Charter, 7-2, then fell to EA by the same score in the semifinals. The Tigers came in fourth overall following a 3-6 loss to Lawrenceville School in their final outing.
Springside Chestnut Hill had succumbed to Lawrenceville in the first round, 3-6, but then as the highest-seeded team to lose in that first set of matches, the Blue Devils received a second-round bye. SCH wound up fifth overall thanks to a 6-3 win over the number-six PC Quakers, who had bumped off Agnes Irwin, 6-3 in the second of their three matches at the tournament.
SCH won the junior varsity girls division, defeating both Conestoga and HLM by 7-0 scores, and downing Agnes Irwin, 6-1.