by Tom Utescher
A pair of squash teams with 1-1 records met on the Penn Charter squash courts last Thursday, and it was the lads from the host school who earned their second win of the season, easily overcoming the visiting Gators of Shipley School, 8-1.
Although the final score was lopsided, many individual bouts were hard fought affairs, with no fewer than four of them extending to a full complement of five games.
Coming in, each team had lost to a strong Haverford School squad. Charter balanced that out with a victory against another Inter-Ac League rival, Malvern Prep, while Shipley rang up a “W” against Radnor High School.
Back in the number one spot for PC this winter is Randy Beck, a senior who will attend the U.S. Naval Academy. After winning a close first game, 12-10, over fellow upperclassman Nat Fry of Shipley, Beck carried the next two games more comfortably, 11-5, 11-8.
All of the other returning players for the Quakers have had to move up on the team ladder, due to the graduation of last year’s number two man, Alex Reisley (who’s on the team at Bowdoin College), and number four Luke Schweitzer (SMU).
Last Thursday, Charter wrapped up three matches in straight games, starting with an 11-5, 11-6, 11-4 victory by senior number five Scott Marcus over Shipley sophomore Ethan Bradlow. Two juniors squared off at number seven, where PC’s Noah Hollin handled Justin Hoden, 11-7, 11-6, 11-5, and in the ninth spot sophomore Aidan Porges of the Quakers overcame Shipley senior R.J. Bowman, 11-6, 11-4, 11-8.
Another tilt between 11th-graders occurred in the eighth position, where visitor David Litner went up on PC’s Quinn Crofton, 12-10, 8-11, 11-4. Crofton responded with authority, winning the contest with 11-6, 11-3 scores in the next two games.
His brother August, the senior number six for the Quakers, also pulled out a five-game battle, topping Gators freshman Will Field, 3-11, 11-8, 11-6, 9-11, 11-9. After Charter sophomore Owen Davis won his first two games by 11-7 scores, Shipley number four Kevin Staples staved off defeat by scrapping for a 13-11 decision in the third round. Davis downed the visiting senior in the fourth game, 11-5, to take the match.
The lone win of the afternoon for the visiting bunch from Bryn Mawr came in the third spot, where Luke Angelakis (PC co-captain along with Beck) faced a fellow senior, Ian Udvarhelyi. The pair went into extra innings in the third game and fought through five rounds overall, with Udvarhelyi eventually prevailing, 4-11, 11-9, 14-12, 6-11, 11-8.
Although the team victory had long since been decided, PC senior Max Reiff and Gators sophomore Zach Quayle went at it tooth-and-nail at number two. Reiff took the first and third games, 11-6, 11-0, and Quayle answered each time, carrying the second and fourth rounds, 11-8, 11-4.
Quayle got out to a 5-1 advantage in the fifth, but Reiff caught him at 7-7 and from there the score seesawed to 10-10. Quayle’s shot into the tin gave the edge to Reiff, who then wrapped up a 12-10 victory by directing a rail down the right wall.