For both the men and women’s squash teams, it has been a season of opposites. While the men sit at 6-6 on the season, the top half of their roster has been consistently solid, while youth talent continues to improve. On the women’s side, injuries and youth have contributed to their 3-8 mark.
“The loss of Jackie Peychar has had a huge impact on the strength of the ladder and her withdrawal from Bates has certainly affected results against traditionally weaker NESCAC opponents,” noted head coach Patrick Cosquer. “But the group is together and fighting through adversity, and having a blast doing so.”
That toughness showed at The Pioneer Valley Invitational, which is the last tournament before NESCAC Championships. Although the women went 0-2 over the past weekend, their grit and resilience showed. First, against No. 10 George Washington, the team’s two-match winning streak was snapped. The ‘Cats top five seeds fell to Colonial opponents, and only junior Charlotte Cabot and sophomore Blair Weintraub picked up victories.
The next day, Weintraub again picked up the victory at the No. 9 spot, but first-year Kristyna Alexova, the Bobcat number one, was the only other lady to secure a victory. Despite the two losses at the Invitational, Cosquer remains optimistic.
“If the women remain positive and continue to work hard and those who have supported them in the past continue to care, the women’s squash team will post the results that have made them a successful team in recent years again soon,” he commented.
On the men’s side, the top four in the Bates rotation continued to be solid. Leading the way were the Egyptian natives senior Ahmed Adbel Khalek and junior Ahmed Hatata, who went 3-0 and 4-0 respectively against teams such as Western Ontario, George Washington, Navy, and Amherst.
As the team heads into their last few matches, health and mentality is a concern for Cosquer, and the next week of preparation before a bout against Franklin & Marshall will be pivotal in finishing the season on a high note.
“I think the men need to take time to get healthy while maintaining their fitness, but also work on aspects of their mental preparation and focus towards competition,” Cosquer said. “Our recent results are not as much squash-related as they are a function of each individual’s mindset prior to and during competition.”
Both teams will have a week prior to traveling down to Massachusetts again to take on Franklin & Marshall.