By Geoff McCuen
Published Feb 8, 2010 at 2:00 PM ET; Updated Feb 7, 2010 at 9:33 PM ET

Kenyon coach John Knepper and Notre Dame coach Geoff McCuen report on the annual Indiana vs. Ohio squash match.

Gambier, OH — The Kenyon Lords Squash Club hosted the 2nd Annual Indiana vs. Ohio Squash Match, a modified round robin that had Kenyon and Denison (as the home teams from Ohio) each playing a match against both Purdue and Notre Dame (from Indiana).

In a repeat of last year’s inaugural event, the Ohio teams dominated the outmatched teams from Indiana.  Kenyon and Denison went undefeated against their opponents from the Buckeye State, combining to win 33 of the 36 individual matches played.

Denison proved to be the best team of the four.  Playing with demonstrated focus and composure, they won every game against both Indiana opponents. Kenyon lost one game against Notre Dame and three matches (and nine games) against Purdue.

The closest matches of the day came between Purdue and Kenyon at the #2 and #4 spots.  At #2, Purdue’s Danish Akhtar spotted Kenyon’s Spencer Carlson the first two games 6-11 and 7-11.  Then, with his back to the wall, Akhtar battled back to take the third game in extra points, 13-11.  Carlson didn’t go down without a fight, pushing the fourth game to 12-10 before running out of gas in the fifth, ultimately losing 11-6.  The #4 spot gave the crowd something to cheer about as well, with Kenyon’s Brandon Bollinger and Purdue’s Matt Murphy trading the first two games 11-8, 11-13.  Murphy took the third game 11-8 before Bollinger fought back in the fourth, winning 11-6.  In the end, Murphy closed the deal with an 11-8 win in the fifth.

Notre Dame enjoyed the opportunity to play with Denison and Kenyon and improve their game.  Coach McCuen was able to video tape each of the ND players in their two matches and then reviewed the tape with the team at the following practice.  The Denison and Kenyon players demonstrated good body control, footwork, and stroke technique.  The ND players all agreed that the match and the video analysis helped to make clear the importance of these technical elements of the game.

We all hope this event will continue into the future and that other colleges in the area can be added. Kenyon’s 8 new international courts and a large spectator area offer a terrific venue for such events.

Match results:

  • Kenyon 9  Notre Dame 0
  • Denison 9  Purdue 0
  • Kenyon 6  Purdue 3
  • Denison 9  Notre Dame 0