The Fordham Ram

Squash Eliminated from College Squash Association National Championship by NYU

Peter+Yuen+Competes+in+the+College+Squash+Championships+last+weekend.+%28Courtesy+of+Fordham+Athletics%29
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Squash Eliminated from College Squash Association National Championship by NYU

Peter Yuen Competes in the College Squash Championships last weekend. (Courtesy of Fordham Athletics)

Peter Yuen Competes in the College Squash Championships last weekend. (Courtesy of Fordham Athletics)

Peter Yuen Competes in the College Squash Championships last weekend. (Courtesy of Fordham Athletics)

Peter Yuen Competes in the College Squash Championships last weekend. (Courtesy of Fordham Athletics)


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Peter Yuen Competes in the College Squash Championships last weekend. (Courtesy of Fordham Athletics)

Jimmy Sullivan

The Fordham Men’s Squash team’s season ended on Sunday with a loss to New York University in the Round of 16 at the College Squash Association national championships at the Kellner Squash Center in Hartford, Connecticut.

The loss means that the team finishes the season at 20-4, just one season after the team finished a disappointing 10-9. The improvement from last season to this one was, unsurprisingly, fueled by freshmen, as all three of first-year players Justin Deckoff, Tommy White and Griffin Fitzgerald finished the year with at least 20 wins. This was the team’s first appearance in the College Squash Association national championships since 2016, and it advanced to the Chaffee Cup final before being bounced by NYU, a team the Rams beat twice in the regular season. However, beating them a third time turned out to be an accomplishment that was just out of reach for these Rams.

The Rams, the top seed in the Chaffee Cup bracket, started the weekend with a first-round victory over Northeastern University. After junior Will Pantle and senior Peter Yuen both lost their individual matches to start the contest, the team pulled out seven straight victories to close out Northeastern and move on to the semifinals of the Chaffee Cup and take on Denison University on Saturday.
That match was very similar to the defeat of Northeastern on Saturday. After a loss in the first individual match, the Rams pulled out five four-set victories and three straight-sets sweeps to vanquish Denison and move on to the Chaffee Cup final where they would take on third-seeded NYU. And even though Fordham beat NYU on Dec. 3 and Jan. 21, this match would end differently.

The match started with a straight-sets victory by the Violets’ Gabriel Bassil over Pantle. However, Yuen tied the contest by defeating Ashish Ramachandran in four sets. With the match tied at one, it was time for one of the teams to take control. On this day, that team would be New York University.

In the third individual match, Bradford Sunderland defeated Fordham senior John Lennon in five sets to give the Violets a 2-1 advantage, and the team would not relinquish their lead. Ashad Hajela’s victory over sophomore Bruce Czachor put NYU up three matches to one. Fordham cut the deficit in half when Fitzgerald beat Ginno Geocadin, but Karan Kochhar’s five-set victory over Tommy White in the subsequent match, one in which Kochhar lost the first two sets, may very well have been the most critical point in the contest. With the Rams needing three straight individual wins to keep their season alive, fifth-year senior Joseph Hughes defeated Linus Kim in four sets. But the team would still need to win the last two individual matches to move on to the semifinals of the tournament.

That dream was effectively crushed in the next individual matchup, as the Violets’ Shane Fries defeated freshman Justin Deckoff to put the Rams away and send NYU to a Chaffee Cup championship and the team semifinals of the CSA national championships. The tournament was eventually won by the hosts of the tournament, Trinity University, as they took down Harvard University in the final for their 17th national championship in the last 20 seasons. The loss on Sunday dropped Fordham to 20-4 on the year. The team will lose seniors John Lennon and Peter Yuen, as well as graduate student Joseph Hughes next season. However, the performance of the team’s young guns this season should have them optimistic about next season as they head into the summer.

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Squash Eliminated from College Squash Association National Championship by NYU