Last weekend, the men’s squash team (8–13; 2–8 NESCAC) went 3–0 to win the Conroy Cup in the D-Division at the Collegiate Squash Association (CSA) National Championships. The Polar Bears defeated Fordham University (20–11), Wesleyan University (7–12) and Dickinson College (6–15) to finish their season ranked 25th in the nation. Bowdoin last won the Conroy Cup in 2018.
Bowdoin entered the tournament as the highest seed in its division, which captain Jackson Rho ’24 said gave the team a significant amount of confidence. After a bye in the first round, Bowdoin faced off against Fordham and won in a decisive 9–0 victory. The team then moved on to play Wesleyan in the semifinals and won 7–2.
The team’s confidence continued in the finals against Dickinson. The two teams had already met in January, with Bowdoin coming out on top 7–2. After going down 2–1 after the first three games, Rho said the team had to refocus in order to take the lead.
“I feel like we needed a bit of extra grind and grit to overcome those matches. I think it was pretty mentally tough, too, just because both teams really wanted it. It’s the finals, and it’s a lot on the line,” Rho said.
The Polar Bears won the remaining matches and beat Dickinson 7-2, which Rho attributes in part to the team’s attitude.
“Everyone was encouraging. Even if they lost the game, everyone was staying positive and cheering. I think we had some good spirit this weekend that carried us to victory,” Rho said.
Captain Henry Somerby ’23 said that winning the championship meant a lot to him, particularly in his final year on the team.
“For me, especially after four years of hard work, it felt like I finally got some recognition and something palpable and something that I can hold my hand up and say, ‘I did that,’” Somerby said.
Somerby added that, although he is proud of the way it performed, the team hoped to compete in the C-Division or higher.
Rho said the team’s placement in the lower division was the result of the tough season Bowdoin had due to a string of injuries.
Head Coach Theo Woodward echoed that the win meant a lot to the team after a challenging season and was an opportunity for the seniors to appreciate how far they’ve come. Woodward also highlighted the strong support systems that allowed Bowdoin to succeed.
“We got lots of parental support, as well. Brendan McClintick, my assistant coach, is excellent. He’s a great spirit on the team and a great person, and [Volunteer Assistant Coach] Rhonda is like a mother figure,” Woodward said.
When reflecting on the year, Woodward said he is happy with the Polar Bears’ performance as a whole, particularly as the season progressed and Bowdoin got some of its players back in the lineup. He is also proud of how the team has developed and improved over the last couple of years and added that he is excited with how the culture is still progressing.
“It’s nice to end it on a good note,” Somerby said.
While the men’s squash team’s season has come to an end, two Polar Bears, Jack Winston ’25 and Deven Kanwal ’23, will compete in the CSA Individual National Championships this weekend in Philadelphia, Pa. Winston and Kanwal are seeded sixth and 13th, respectively, in the 16-player bracket.