by Tom Utescher
Following the holiday break, the boys’ squash teams at Penn Charter and Springside Chestnut Hill Academy got right back to it on Jan. 3, when the PC Quakers visited the Blue Devils in Chestnut Hill.
Neither team had its regular line-up entirely intact for the match, but this probably had little effect on the overall outcome, as SCH lost in the eighth and ninth positions but posted a convincing 7-2 victory overall.
This season PC has played all of the toughest opponents on its schedule up front, with the result being an 0-5 record overall and an 0-3 mark within the Inter-Ac League. At 3-1, 2-1, Springside Chestnut Hill suffered its lone setback against Episcopal Academy (3-6) and has not yet faced powerful Haverford School.
Taking the day off for the Blue Devils last Thursday were junior Christian Mazzarelli, the regular number two and senior Peter Kapp, who normally plays in the six spot. Penn Charter went without Rohan Bhambhani, who had been playing at number five in early matches. Bhambhani, a senior, will attend Duke University.
Mazzarelli’s brother James, an SCH senior, played at number two last week in one of the first matches on the court. He recorded an 11-2, 11-5, 11-3 victory over PC sophomore Ryan Yeatman, whose older sister Emma is a senior at SCH.
At number three, Blue Devils junior Charlie Larkin topped visiting freshman Hyun Su Price, 11-5, 11-9, 11-3, and in a bout between seniors in the fourth spot, Matt Bown downed Tom Bradbeer, 11-6, 11-3, 11-2. Bown will continue a family tradition as he heads to Villanova University in the fall.
His younger brother Drew, a freshman, played at number six against Charter’s Ramsay Killinger, a Wyndmoor native. Killinger finds himself in the same situation Drew Bown was in last season, playing with his school’s varsity team as an eighth-grader. Here, the SCH freshman won a close first game, 11-8, then took the next two 11-1, 11-0.
Two juniors jousted in the fifth position, with an 11-3, 11-7, 11-9 victory going to the Blue Devils’ Chase Cook over his guest, Jack Kennedy.
Penn Charter was able to notch wins at number eight and nine thanks to junior Eli Kestenbaum and freshman Jack Stanley, respectively. Kestenbaum prevailed in four games over SCH senior Bern Popky, 11-5, 9-11, 11-8, 11-5. Stanley, just returning to the line-up off of an injury, claimed an 11-5, 11-3, 11-4 decision over fellow ninth-grader Casey Baker.
Up at number seven, Blue Devils junior Jake Scholl moved past PC freshman Henry Ross, 11-4, 11-8, 11-3. Ross is the brother of the senior star of the Quakers’ girls’ team, Elisabeth Ross, who was away in England playing in the British Junior Open.
In addition to the number eight bout last Thursday, there was one other four-game contest. It involved two seniors, Michael Berry for the home team and Max Lubowitz for the visitors. Berry earned 11-8, 11-7 victories in the first two games, but Lubowitz, who’ll attend Cornell University, approached game point in the third at 10-6 and finished it out at 11-8.
It looked like the match might proceed into a fifth game as Lubowitz got off to a 6-3 start in the fourth, but Berry caught up at 7-7 and went on to win, 11-8.
Area squash supporters may remember that PC’s Price played in varsity matches last winter as an eighth-grader, as did Oliver Leedale-Brown, the son of Penn Charter Director of Squash Damon Leedale-Brown. After a successful spring track season, Oliver ran cross country in the fall and finished fourth at the 2018 Inter-Ac championships. He’s decided to lay down his racquet and pursue his potential in the running world, and is currently participating in indoor track events.