Squash Crowned 2020 Chaffee Cup Champions


As they have all season, Fordham showed its resilience to win the Chaffee Cup for the second year in a row. (Courtesy of Fordham Athletics)

Fordham Squash entered this season trying to win its second straight Chaffee Cup title at the CSA (College Squash Association) Team Championships. The Rams did so last season for the first time in recent memory, and despite some early hurdles, this year’s team looked primed to accomplish the same feat.

This past weekend, the Rams did just that.

Fordham claimed back-to-back Chaffee Cups as the Rams defeated Washington University (Missouri), New York University and Hobart College in Boston, Massachusetts. The first match against Washington was the easiest of the weekend. Senior William Douglass won his opening match over Washington’s Russell Scharf in four sets; elsewhere, all but one Fordham individual match was decided in straight sets and Fordham moved on to the semifinals.

The team’s next match against NYU on Saturday was slightly more difficult but never quite in doubt.

Douglass and Patrick Rodden won the opening two matches of the day over Hamaad Jefry and Tyler Kang, respectively. Things got a little more interesting in the third match, as the Violets’ Liam Pope took down Fordham junior Tommy White in an exciting five-set match to get NYU back in it for the time being. The match turned in the next individual contest, as Fordham junior Griffin Fitzgerald was pushed to the wall by NYU’s Andre Megliola. Megliola took a two sets to one lead on Fitzgerald entering the fourth set, but Fitzgerald, who finished the year with a 20-8 record, buckled down and won the next two difficult sets, 11-9 and 11-8, respectively. The teams split the next two matches, and Fordham junior Justin Deckoff clinched the victory — and an appearance in the final for Fordham — with his win over Gene Chung.

With Saturday’s victory, Fordham stood just one win away from another Chaffee Cup title. The only team standing in the way was Hobart College, and nothing came easy for Fordham in its attempt to win another championship.

The Rams started in a hole at the outset of the match. Douglass, Rodden and White all lost their matches, and after three matches, Hobart was just two victories away from swiping the Chaffee Cup away from Fordham. But Fordham turned the match around behind Fitzgerald, who once again went the distance against James Mazzarelli. In the deciding fifth set, Fitzgerald came out on top in a dominant 11-0 performance. Senior Bruce Czachor and sophomore Jack Reed won their next two matches to tie it at three apiece. Fordham needed to win two of the next three matches to win the trophy, but Hobart’s Quran Davis won the next match to complicate things further for the Rams.

As Fordham did all season, the team had a response.

Sophomore Dylan Panichello forced a winner-take-all ninth match with his victory over Charlie Beall of Hobart in straight sets. With the Rams’ season on the line, it came down to freshman Jacob Bennett, and he delivered with a straight-sets victory to give Fordham its second straight Chaffee Cup win.

What is next for Fordham is unclear. What is clear is this: the last two Fordham Squash seasons have been historic, and the likes of them may not be repeated again for a long, long time.