by Tom Utescher
Last week, the squash squads from Chestnut Hill Academy and Germantown Friends School each closed out the pre-holiday portion of their schedules with important matches. The GFS Tigers notched a rare win over Haverford School on Tuesday afternoon, and the following day in a battle for Inter-Ac League supremacy (at least for the time being), the CHA Blue Devils were edged out by the Churchmen of Episcopal Academy, 5-4.

Although Haverford is not a geographical rival for GFS like Penn Charter or Chestnut Hill Academy, the Fords have appeared on the Tigers’ squash schedule for many seasons. No one affiliated with the GFS program can remember Germantown defeating the Main Line school, until this year.

In a seven-match meeting last Tuesday at the Germantown Cricket Club, the Tigers pulled out a 5-2 victory.

Senior Alex Nalle gave the host team a win in the top spot, prevailing 3-1, but Haverford took the number two and three contests. GFS captured the rest of the matches, including 3-0 wins by sophomore number four Max McCafferty and senior number five Ben York.

The overall outcome hung in the balance during a pair of five-game matches at number six and seven. The scales tipped in the Tigers’ favor both times, as sophomore David Sneed and senior Cole McCourt emerged triumphant.

The next day, Chestnut Hill Academy’s team traveled to Newtown Square to take on the Churchmen. Episcopal number one Devin McLaughlin, the reigning under-17 national champion, has not been able to play so far this season due to injury, but his teammates stepped up to prevail against the Blue Devils.

Fans on both sides anticipated a number of close matches, but in actuality only two of the nine bouts went past the three-game minimum. One of these was the number one contest, in which CHA senior Jack Maine won 11-9 in the fifth frame for a 3-2 victory. At number seven, Blue Devils sophomore Alex McCall suffered a 1-3 setback, and at eight and nine Episcopal players posted 3-0 wins against senior Nick DiDonato and freshman Mason Blake of the visiting side. The hosts also logged 3-0 victories against two other CHA seniors, number five Anderson Good and number six Peter Lynn.

CHA was solid higher up the ladder, with Maine’s triumph complemented by success in the second through fourth positions. In order, the 3-0 winners for Chestnut Hill were junior Augie Frank, freshman Philip Kelly, and junior Alex Ambrosini.

The two Inter-Ac title contenders will meet again on January 12 at CHA.

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