by Tom Utescher
Although Friends Central began to field a boys’ varsity squash team a few years ago, Germantown Friends and Shipley School remain the top squads within the Friends Schools League. After the Tigers and Gators met last Monday, host Shipley could claim the title of unofficial league champion, thanks to a 7-2 victory.
GFS won the number eight and nine matches, but Shipley took the rest to climb to 4-3 overall.
The contest was fairly competitive early on with the matches in the lower positions on the ladder. GFS freshman Max Daniel and Shipley senior Mikael Zarett each won a game at 11-7, then Zarett took the next two at 11-8 to wrap things up at number seven. Up at number six, sophomore visitor Caleb Friedman-Spring took the opening game to 10-12 before bowing to Gators senior Chase Brandow, who won the next two games at 11-7, 11-8.
Germantown’s two wins came in the eighth and ninth spots thanks to seniors Michael Harrity and Jacob Sternberg-Sher, respectively. Harrity was an 11-6, 11-3, 11-3 winner over junior Cleve Green of the host school, while Sternberg-Sher overcame fellow 12th-grader Bobby Kent, 11-3, 11-5, 11-6.
In the middle of the line-up the two teams were matched evenly in terms of age, with two 10th-graders positioned at number four and a pair of seniors squaring off in the fifth spot. Shipley number four Grant Williams took three 11-3 games from visitor Gray Kearns, and in a four-game bout at number five Shipley’s Drew Rodick outlasted James Nalle of the Tigers, 11-4, 12-10, 9-11, 13-11.
In addition, there were two ninth-graders engaged in the third spot, where Asher Leavy of the Bryn Mawr bunch won 11-6, 13-11, 11-5 against Germantown’s Zack Idinopulos. At number two, Shipley senior Teddy Eill got the better of visiting sophomore Sean Park, 11-2, 11-1, 11-4.
The games in the number one match were closer, but Gators junior Maxwell Orr was able to make a late push to win each one.
After Orr secured the opener at 11-7, fellow 11th-grader Tommy Fournaris of the Tigers gained a 7-6 edge during the second round. Orr regrouped and went through to win at 11-8. After Fournaris battled hard up to 6-6 in the third game, Orr captured the next five points to earn the victory, with match point coming when Fournaris sent a ball down into the tin.