Fordham’s squash team began the 2013-2014 season on the right foot at the Hudson Valley Individual Championship. The tournaments, held at Vassar College, allowed the Rams to showcase their individual skills and team depth.
In the A division, which featured each of the four schools’ top eight players, sophomore Kincade Webster, Fordham’s No. 1, was able to cruise to the finals. In doing so, he had to defeat teammates Jimmy Shinnick and Jeremy Keller in the quarterfinals and semifinals respectively. Shinnick and Keller played resiliently and proudly until they were ousted by their fellow Ram.
“I think this tournament and the hard-fought matches that would take place between two of our guys showed the depth of our squad and is a good start to the season,” Shinnick said.
Webster faced Vassar freshman Vincent Mencotti in the Main Event title, where Webster fell 3-0, 13-15, 8-11 and 8-11. Webster was dissatisfied with his play in the final, as bad decisions could not help him come from behind to capture the victory.
Despite failing to win the individual title on Saturday, Fordham played well all-around, with each of the eight players winning his first match of the day. From top to bottom, Fordham showcased its skills by sending four players to the quarter finals. Sophomore Paul Monaghan was the fourth Ram to earn a spot in the Quarterfinals. Alex LaVersa was defeated in the second round by Shinnick during a tough five game battle. LaVersa took the defeat in hand and continued to surge, eventually winning a consolation bracket.
The ninth position player for Fordham, Matt Crowe, competed in a smaller bracket. Crowe defeated three Vassar opponents to earn the B division title.
“It was an amazing team effort,” Keller said. “We had the best result overall by far and some players really surpassed themselves.”
The young team showed enthusiasm on the courts in Poughkeepsie. With vision set on development and higher placement in the rankings than last year, the squash team will use its first performance as encouragement for the rest of the season.
The team travels to Annapolis, Md. this weekend to participate in the Navy Round Robin. They will take on Navy, Bard College, Johns Hopkins and Washington. The competition will be tougher at the Navy tournament than it was this past weekend, but Fordham has proven that they are up for the challenge. After their strong performance, the Rams will focus on ball control in practice this week. Coach Bryan Patterson knows that the key to the team’s success this season comes from how good the players’ swings are. Led by Webster, the team looks to remain competitive in Annapolis.