Fordham Squash rolled into the weekend after taking three of four at its last event. There were two matches on tap versus the NYU Bobcats and the Bucknell Bison, Fordham’s final home matches of the year. The Rams ended up falling to both squads.
The NYU match was lopsided: Fordham was blown out 8-1. The Rams played tough against the Bobcats earlier in the year in a 5-4 loss, but head coach Bryan Patterson noted that this was a different Fordham team. “Without our No. 2, No. 4 and No. 5, we are under strength and consequently weaker than the first half of the season,” he said.
Senior Kincade Webster continued his stellar season for Fordham in the first position, securing its only point of the day with a victory over Max McCafferty. NYU coasted after the first position and took the next seven matches. There were some bright spots for Fordham, namely sophomore John Lennon and junior Sahil Bahri’s ability to extend their matches in the fourth and fifth positions. It took four sets for Ashad Hajela to top Lennon. Bahri dueled Luca Diadul in a five set marathon. Bahri stormed back after going down by two sets to none to tie it, but succumbed in the fifth and deciding set.
The downtrodden Rams had yet another tough team in their way a few hours later. Fordham put up a fight, but lost a 6-3 battle to Bucknell in their last home match of the year. Webster and senior Jeremy Keller once again steered their team in the right direction to open the match. It was an undefeated day for Webster when he rolled past Mike Gagnier in a straight set sweep. It took the maximum of five sets, but Keller gave Fordham a 2-0 advantage in a five set victory over Tyler Edwards.
The Rams were up 2-0 and riding high on the back of their two best players, but their hopes of breaking even were dashed by five straight Bucknell wins. The Bison clinched the match in the seventh position on a triumph over Fordham senior James Potts, who was undefeated in four matches at Johns Hopkins. The Rams picked up a meaningless third point in the next matchup from freshman Robert Levis over Sam Klahu.
Fordham finishes a game above .500 at 8-7 in regular season play. There are two tournaments left to go, the National Team and Individual Championships. The team competition is up first from Feb. 19 through Feb. 21.
Coach Patterson is confident his team will bounce back. “No matter what, the team are ready to give their best,” he said. “This will be an interesting weekend and one that we could do well in.”