The men’s squash team had an exciting week with matches on January 24, 26, and 27. The Bobcats played No. 24 Colby, No. 27 Tufts, No. 18 Franklin and Marshall, and No. 13 Brown respectively.
Wednesday, January 24 proved to be a tough night and a tight game against Colby at the Bates College Squash Center as the Bobcats rallied from a 4-2 deficient to a thrilling 5-4 win. Senior captain Anirudh Nambiar ‘18 won his five-game match that ultimately determined the winning team. This win marks the 17th consecutive year Bates has defeated Colby. The streak has lasted since 2000.
“In past matches, I have lost to Colby even though the team has always won,” says Nambiar. “This time was slightly different as the team was dropping matches and we were actually heading towards a 5-4 defeat. However, this seemed to wake up the remaining players and we fought back to win a closely contested match. The team was slightly complacent as we headed towards the game but we showed great resilience when it mattered to get the result that we wanted.”
At the No. 4 position, Nambiar, from Pune, India, beat Alexander Kurtin 3-2 (9-11, 11-6, 11-8, 9-11, 11-7), and his win set up the deficient from 4-2 to 4-3. His win inspired the other Bobcats as Benni McComish ‘20 and Mahmoud Yousry ‘20 won their matches with ease, securing the 5-4 win against Colby.
On Friday, January 26, men’s squash dominated Tufts as they easily rolled over with a score of 8-1 at the Bates College Squash Center. Yousry and Graham Bonnell ‘20 both picked up 3-0 wins at the No.1 and No. 2 positions.
“It was a good match against a good team. We won 8-1 and I believe we earned that score as a team. Personally, my opponent was quite skilled and I enjoyed playing him. I was able to find my rhythm and add another win to the team,”says Yousry.
Both captains, McLeod Abbott ‘19 and Anirudh Nambiar, earned victories 3-0 and 3-1 respectively. The Bobcats continued to be in control as there were wins at the No.6-No.9 positions. This demonstrates the healthy dynamic of the team Yousry describes.
“I’m proud to be part of this team. We all care about each other and always supporting one another, whether it’s on or off the court,” says Yousry. “I believe it’s a healthy dynamic and we embrace each other and each other grow as a person first then as a squash player second.”
On their last and final day of matches, the men’s squash team hosted both Franklin and Marshall and Brown University. The Bobcats defeated Franklin and Marshall 7-2 Saturday morning but unfortunately fell to Brown to a count of 8-1 Saturday afternoon.
Playing at the No. 7 position, Garon Rothenberg ‘20 led the way for the Bobcats as he won both his matches. He defeated Franklin and Marshall’s Ricardo Machado 3-0 (12-10, 11-6, 11-9) and a hard fought match against Brown’s Thomas Walker 3-2 (9-11, 11-9, 11-3, 10-12, 11-4).
Nambiar played the most on that day as both of his matches went to five full games. He defeated Franklin and Marshall’s Boden Polikoff 3-2 (11-5, 5-11, 11-4, 13-15, 11-7) but fell short against Brown’s Nicholas Pitario 3-2 (2-11, 11-6, 10-12, 11-6, 11-6).
In the game against Franklin and Marshall, Coley Cannon ‘19 and Benni McComish ‘20 picked up wins at the No. 6 and No. 8 positions. Although Abbott and Dylan Muldoon ‘21 lost their first games, they immediately bounced back to win their matches 3-1 at the No. 4 and No. 9 positions. Graham Bonnell ‘20 gained an impressive victory at the No.2 position with a score of 3-1 (11-6, 11-2, 11-13, 11-8).
The Bobcats lost to the Bears 8-1, and although it was a tough loss, the Bobcats fought back hard. They were able to force five of the matches to five full games and Rothenberg won the only match for the Bobcats at the No. 7 position. First-year Omar Attia ‘21 gave Brown’s Andrew Wei a tough battle in a 3-2 loss (11-8, 8-11, 11-2, 6-11, 11-9) at the No. 3 position. Cannon and McComish battled for five full games before falling 3-2 at the No. 6 and No. 8 positions.
The Bobcats are now preparing for the NESCAC championships which will be taking place on February 2, 3 and 4 at Hamilton College. They are hoping to gain the title of champions as Bates has finished second two years in a row, falling behind Trinity in both years.