Squash Sweeps Opening Weekend at Vassar

Fordham+Squash+remains+undefeated+after+its+opening-weekend+sweep+at+the+Vassar+Round+Robin.+%28Courtesy+of+Fordham+Athletics%29

Fordham Squash remains undefeated after its opening-weekend sweep at the Vassar Round Robin. (Courtesy of Fordham Athletics)

Jimmy Sullivan, Sports Editor

Fordham Squash opened its season at the Vassar Round Robin this past weekend. The team made the 85-minute trek to Poughkeepsie, N.Y. to compete in the tournament, which the team swept last year en route to its best season in many years.

This year’s team was able to achieve similar success.

The Rams took on Vassar College, the host school, and Lafayette College on Saturday and easily won both matches. Fordham started slow against Vassar, dropping the first two individual matches. However, after dropping the first set in his match, junior Griffin Fitzgerald got Fordham on the board with a four-set win over Milinid Joshi. After that, Fordham didn’t drop any other individual matches en route to a 7–2 victory. 

I was very impressed with my team this weekend,” Fitzgerald said. “I expected our first two matches to be wins, and my team delivered.”

With two wins already under their belt, the Rams headed into Sunday looking to make it a clean sweep on the weekend against Northeastern. The final match of the weekend would also be a rematch of last year’s Chaffee Cup final, where the Rams emerged victorious after a hard-fought contest. Sunday’s meeting of the two teams wouldn’t be nearly as close, even though it started inauspiciously for Fordham.

Fordham once again fell behind after senior William Douglass and sophomore Patrick Rodden both lost their individual contests to start the match. Fitzgerald would be tasked once more with turning the tide of the match, but he fell behind two sets to one to Alexander Swenson. But, once again, he dug deep and pulled out the final two sets, 11–8 and 11–6, to win his match three sets to two and give his team momentum. After his thrilling victory, the rest of his team followed suit and the end result was a blowout 7–2 win that moved Sahel Anwar’s team to 3–0. 

Fitzgerald cited several reasons for his come-from-behind win on Sunday.

“First, I lost last year in five [sets] to Northeastern and refused to allow that to happen again. Second, Will Douglass coached me between games and told me to ‘keep it simple’ and that helped me to focus on my game instead of my opponents and eventually gain control of the match. Third, as a new co-captain I had an extra drive to win and show my team, and especially the freshmen, how to win a tight match.”

Fitzgerald’s performance in his tight matches turned the overall contests between Northeastern and Vassar into runaways. This weekend was also defined by extended runs of dominance from Fordham’s best players; the Rams took seven straight matches to end their meeting with Vassar, eight straight against Lafayette and seven straight over Northeastern. These performances showcased the depth of the Rams and that depth should bode well for the team as the season progresses.

Fordham is next in action this weekend; the Rams will play Johns Hopkins on Friday afternoon before competing in the Navy Round Robin from Nov. 8–Nov. 10.