SCH senior number one Chris Dalglish led the Blue Devils in an 8-1 victory over Shipley School last Wednesday. (Photo by Tom Utescher)

by Tom Utescher

SCH senior number one Chris Dalglish led the Blue Devils in an 8-1 victory over Shipley School last Wednesday. (Photo by Tom Utescher)

Scholastic squash squads typically take a long holiday break compared to teams in a number of other winter sports, but nearly three weeks after their last match the Springside Chestnut Hill Academy Blue Devils hardly appeared rusty last Wednesday afternoon as they repulsed the visiting Gators of Shipley School, 8-1.

Winning every match in its 2017 debut except at the number four position, SCH recorded six of its victories in three straight games and the other two at 3-1. Shipley returned to Bryn Mawr with a 3-2 record overall, while Springside Chestnut Hill improved to 3-0. Back in December, the Blue Devils had engineered 9-0 sweeps against two fellow Inter-Ac League schools, Penn Charter and Malvern Prep.

The young Shipley squad shows promise for the future, but this year the Gators would have to take their lumps against an SCH line-up that has seniors in the top four spots.

SCH number one Chris Dalglish won in three games but definitely met with some resistance from Gators freshman Maxwell Orr. After opening with an 11-7 win, Dalglish fell behind in the second game, then eventually drew even at 6-6 and went on to win five more points in a row. He then climbed up out of an early 2-2 tie in game three to prevail, 11-5.

In the second spot, Zane Jeka of the host team took the first frame, 11-8, but the next game went to Shipley’s lone senior, Fitz Dougherty, at 11-4. Jeka then buckled down and secured 11-6, 11-3 wins in the next two games.

Earlier, some younger Blue Devils had registered 3-0 wins at positions seven through nine. Freshman Christian Mazzarelli defeated Shipley junior Will Bullitt, 11-3, 11-7, 11-7, and in the eighth spot SCH sophomore Matt Bown went by junior Dillon Howard, 11-1, 11-6, 11-6. Another Gators 11th-grader, Will Drake, fell 11-5, 11-8 11-7 to freshman Charlie Larkin of the Blue Devils.

Mazzarelli’s older brother, James, was pushed hard in the second game of the number five match by fellow sophomore Chase Brandow of the Gators, but he managed to wrap up the contest in three games, 11-2, 14-12, 11-4. The number six bout also featured two 10th-graders, and here the Blue Devils’ Michael Berry played the longest game of the day before nailing down an 11-6, 11-5, 14-16, 11-1 win against his guest, Drew Rodack.

Shipley avoided a sweep thanks to sophomore number four Teddy Eill, who got out to a 2-0 lead over SCH senior David Brenman, 13-11, 11-5. The Blue Devils upperclassman then stormed back to take game three, 11-2, but in the fourth Eill regrouped to win 11-9 over Brenman, who hit a number of drop shots just below the boundary throughout the match.

The other senior in SCH’s top four, Luke Stauffer, picked up momentum in a 12-10, 11-8, 11-0 win over visiting junior number three Zach Bradlow.

The Blue Devils will resume their Inter-Ac League campaign this Wednesday afternoon, when they host Haverford School.

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