Drexel player Amey Khanolkar reports on his team’s match with Haverford.
Philadelphia, PA — The Drexel Men’s Squash team hosted Haverford College at home on Saturday, November 20, 2010. Drexel University and Haverford College, both prominent Philadelphia-based schools, have played each other in squash matches several times in past seasons, and we were looking forward to taking on Haverford at home. Drexel’s new squash courts feature two international glass-back squash courts with stadium-style seating. The match saw a fair number of supporters cheering for the Drexel squash team, and thus, the new spectator seating serves as a great arena for Drexel squash. We have not been where we would like to be this season, suffering losses to teams like Fordham, University of Washington, University of Virginia and Lehigh. Our match against Haverford was a good chance for us to get back on track. Although we lost six players to graduation and other commitments, we have several new members with high-school squash experience joining our team this season.
We certainly had the home advantage with us for this game. The presence of President John Fry, athletic director Dr. Zillmer, Club Sports coordinator Sarah Shouvlin and Recreational Athletics director Dan Simmons meant a lot to us. We played the games on a 3-court system, using two international courts, and one hardball court located downstairs. Drexel and Haverford both finished in the Chaffee Division of the College Squash Association at Nationals this February, and we were ready for a very close encounter. Playing at #9, I lost my match to Haverford’s Charlie Michele after 5 very tight games. I won the first two games, and after being 2-0 up, I was confident of wrapping it up. However, Haverford’s Michele fought very hard to level the match score 2-2. In the fifth and deciding game, the scores were very tight again. After being on match-ball on two occasions, I ended up losing the match 12-14. There were other close games too, but overall, Haverford emerged victorious 6-3. Drexel’s wins came from Nakul Jain at #8, Mark Santerian at #4 and Philipp Lorek at #7.
The 2010-11 Drexel Men’s Squash season has not been quite on track so far. We did not field a full-strength team against Fordham and University of Washington, and to add to our handicap, our #9 could not make it to the Navy trip that day. Playing with an 8-man squad, and forfeiting the #9 spot match, we tied 4-4 with Fordham, but lost 4-5 due to the forfeit. Our loss against Lehigh 3-6, and against Virginia with the same score, in the very beginning of the season also was a huge set-back. We are however looking to work on our weaknesses, and instill more discipline in our practice sessions. We look forward to playing Johns Hopkins University on December 4th at home, and Navy A on December 10th, again at home. Our aim is to keep on improving and play consistently by working on our fitness as well as racquet skills.