by Tom Utescher
The boys’ squash teams of Springside Chestnut Hill Academy and Shipley School haven’t had many close squash matches in recent years, but with SCH graduating a number of key players from last season and with the Gators returning a number of talented young racquetmen, last Monday’s encounter was decided by a single bout in the end.
Shipley captured the top three matches, but the Blue Devils secured each of the next five contests down the team ladder. Although the Gators picked up another win at number nine, SCH carried the day, 5-4.
Previously, Springside Chestnut Hill had defeated Harriton/Lower Merion, 8-1, while Shipley topped both HLM and Lawrenceville School.
Last Monday’s match was played at Shipley’s impressive new squash complex, which features electronic scoreboards (on which players’ names can be entered) on each court, as well as a master panel that displays full team results in real time.
In a number nine match featuring rhyming seniors, the home team’s Will Drake overcame the Blue Devils’ Finley Blake in four games, 11-6, 11-8, 5-11, 11-8.
SCH collected three-game wins at number six, seven, and eight thanks to sophomores Chase Cook and Jake Scholl and eighth-grader Drew Bown. Cook had some challenging games as he got past junior Drew Rodick, 12-10, 13-11, 11-7, while at number seven Scholl’s scores were 11-9, 11-4, 11-5 against Gators senior Will Bullitt. Each game at number eight ended with an 11-6 score as Bown beat freshman Grant Williams of Shipley.
In the fifth spot, visitor Joe Fabiani overcame fellow senior Dillon Howard of the Gators, 11-6, 7-11, 12-10, 11-9. The SCH number four was Drew Bown’s older brother, Matt, who would turn in a key performance for the Blue Devils. He dropped the opening game to fellow junior Chase Brandow, 11-7, then stalled out with a 9-7 lead in the second game as Brandow rallied to win, 11-9.
Beginning to turn the tide by taking game three at 11-7, Bown gathered momentum to win the next two rounds, 11-2, 11-5, prevailing 3-2 in the match to claim the fifth win for Springside Chestnut Hill.
There was a sophomore set-to in the number one spot, and here Maxwell Orr pleased Shipley supporters with his 11-5, 11-8, 11-5 victory over visitor Christian Mazzarelli. The number two players were also in the same grade – the 11th – and here the Gators’ Teddy Eill edged Michael Berry by a 12-10 count in each of the first two games before wrapping up the third, 11-4.
The last match on the courts pitted Shipley senior Zach Bradlow against SCH junior James Mazzarelli, Christian’s brother. The Blue Devils had already clinched the team win, but Shipley made it close as Bradlow gave the Gators their fourth individual victory, 11-4, 11-9, 13-11.