Squash Closes Out Their Regular Season in Style


Jimmy Sullivan, Staff Writer

After an up-and-down January, the Fordham squash team found its bearings last weekend in its final regular-season matches, taking down New York University and Boston University before being crowned victorious over Siena College by forfeit.

All three matches were held on Saturday morning and afternoon, Feb. 1 at the Lombardi Squash Courts at Fordham. The Rams’ 10 a.m. matchup with NYU was a fascinating affair, one that went back-and-forth between the two sides. The teams split the first two individual matchups, as NYU’s Hamaad Jafry and Fordham junior Griffin Fitzgerald were each able to win thrilling five-setters over their respective opponents. The next two matches were less tight, as NYU’s Liam Pope and Fordham junior Justin Deckoff each prevailed to make the match a best-out-of-five down the stretch. Fordham dropped the first of those five when sophomore Jack Reed fell to Shane Fries in four sets.

However, with Fordham’s margin for error extremely slim, the Rams were able to step up.

The comeback started with freshman Justin George’s straight-sets victory over Gene Chung; after Saturday’s results, George finished the regular season with a 14-5 record. Fellow freshman Jacob Bennett took down Kenneth Nakamura, and sophomore Dylan Panichello clinched the Fordham win by defeating NYU’s William McPhail in three sets. Fordham forfeited the last individual match, but it did not matter — the Rams won 5-4 and carried that momentum with them the rest of the day.
In match two, Fordham fell behind early on as Frederick Haab and Hunter Chun started off the match with victories for BU. However, Fordham dug in once again, as senior Bruce Czachor, Deckoff, Reed, George, Bennett and Panichello all took their matches in straight sets to give Fordham another victory.

The Rams were supposed to play a third match Saturday against Siena, but it turned into a forfeit victory for Fordham. With three more wins under their belt, the Rams finished the season at 18-9 and, despite some lumps over the course of the season, the team can consider the year a success so far. Last year’s team finished with 20 wins, as did the 2017-18 squad.

Next stop for Fordham is the CSA (College Squash Association) Team Championship, which will be held in Boston, Massachusetts. Last year’s Fordham team took home the Chaffee Cup title for the first time in recent memory, and this year’s team will look to make it two straight titles. The tournament kicks off on Feb. 28.