The women’s squash team (6-9) surged to a decisive 5-4 win against Colby (6-5) on Sunday, January 25, after falling to Brown (5-5) the day before. On Friday the team narrowly lost 6-3 to Bates (8-8). The women rounded out their regular season winning 8-1 against Wellesley (9-8). 
The men suffered a string of losses to Brown, Colby and Bates, yet eased to a 9-0 a victory in their final home match of the season against MIT (7-8) on Saturday.

The women are seeded seventh heading into NESCAC Championship. They will play tenth seeded Tufts today at 4 p.m. at Williams College. The winner of this match will go on to face second seeded Williams at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday.

The men are seeded eighth and will play ninth seeded Hamilton tonight at 6:30 p.m. The winner will face top-seeded Trinity at noon on Saturday.

Williams College is hosting the championship for both the men and women. 

“Our seasons are always measured, in competitive terms, by the quality of our play at the postseason events,” wrote Head Coach Tomas Fortson in an email to the Orient.

“The men are working hard and trying to improve. They play a very difficult schedule and have lost four very close matches,” Fortson wrote. She added that the women are on the right side of their play’s progrssion and are in good shape for nationals. 

However, Fortson worries about the team’s health and hopes it will be in top form as it enters the post season.

“We honestly can’t afford to lose another player, regardless of where they play on the ladder,” wrote captain Sara Wlodarczyk ’15 in an email to the Orient. Wlodarczyk will likely miss the championship this weekend due to illness.

Fortson praised the women’s rebound win against Colby, highlighting Wlodarczyk’s play, which earned her NESCAC Player of the Week honors. 

“Sara’s honor was well earned as she came through in the clutch when Colby was poised for the upset win, said Forston. “All of our women have stepped up at different times to get valuable wins.”

According to Wlodarczyk, the loss against Bates a week later was one of the closest matches that the two teams have had in the last few years.

He also revealed how despite illness, the women’s team remains in high spirits. She praised the team’s performance against Wellesley last Saturday.

 “I think if we’re all healthy come this weekend, then we stand a good chance of doing well and potentially winning the C division at championships,” said Wlodarczyk. 

The men’s performance at Colby was crucial in their progress toward a breakout performance at NESCACs and nationals.  

Captain Andrew Ward ’15 said that he knew that the match would be a close one, noting that matches against Colby almost always end 5-4. 

“It was four-all, and we had our number one playing, Matt Cooper ’16, and [about] 50 people [were] watching, but unfortunately, the Colby guy won in the fifth game,” Ward said.
The men’s win against MIT this Saturday was particularly exciting, since it ended the team’s losing streak. 

“The seniors, [it was our] last home match. We weren’t going to lose that one. And so [the team] came out with a lot of energy. A lot of our friends were watching and we really stepped it up,” he said.

Ward attributed the team’s success to its relentless style of play.

“Other players in long games or stressful situations start hitting the tin. They start making mistakes. But we don’t shoot for winners a lot, we try to rally it out and burn them down, make them tired, so that’s how we usually win,” said Ward.

Both squads are looking forward to this weekend’s NESCAC Championship at Williams and at the College Squash Association nationals ithe following week.
“We always perform our best at Nationals and that’s how we’ll hopefully end the season this year,” says Ward.