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Squash, without Van Delden, Suffers 6-3 Defeat to Colby

By Daniel Wang
Sports Editor

The squash team fell victim to Colby College, 63, Thursday night at DuPont.

The result gives the team a current record of 14 for the season.

The play commenced with the even-numbered matches (second, fourth, sixth, eighth, and 10th singles), which ended with Colby gaining a 31 advantage; the 10th match does not count toward the team score.

The Engineers played the match without regular third singles player Hans Van Delden '95, forcing everyone below him to play at one position higher than usual. For the Engineers, with an inexperienced team consisting of many members in their first season of varsity competition, this change may have been a factor in the loss.

The point for MIT came from James Habyarimana '98 at sixth singles, who won fairly easily in straight games, 159, 1511, 158.

At second singles, Yves Kissenpfennig '95 had trouble with his opponent, who delivered many shots which made the ball die soon after hitting the front wall. After dropping the first two games, 1510, 1716, Kissenpfenning battled back to take the third game, 1510. In the fourth game, he took a 50 lead, but then his opponent came back to tie at 55. The Colby player went ahead 119, then traded points with Kissenpfennig to finish out the match.

Fourth singles player Andres Villaquiran '97 also struggled in his match. Early on, his adversary used the walls well and produced many unreturnable shots. After hitting many balls which either passed Villaquiran or dropped short near the front wall, the Colby player took the first game, 156. Villaquiran then rebounded to take the second game, 1510.

Any momentum that Villaquiran may have gained from the second game was not enough, as his foe won the last two games, 156, 1512, and the match. In the final game, Villaquiran's opponent won six points in a row to change a 118 deficit to a 1411 lead, allowing him to finish soon afterwards.

At eight singles, Salvador Biguria '97 took a little longer than his teammates to finish, but ended up with a loss in four games, 1513, 1215, 1511, 1511.

After the second round of matches began, the Engineers captured another point when first singles player Andrew Downer '96 won in straight games, 158, 159, 158.

However, his teammates on the courts adjacent to his did not fare as well. Third singles player Sean Kwok '97 won a hard-fought first game, 1513, but then his next two games were a disaster, as he lost by scores of 155, and 151. In the third game, his opponent won 11 points in a row. Kwok recovered in the fourth game, but not enough to force a fifth game, and lost this one, 158.

At fifth singles, Asim Khwaja '95 encountered problems with interfering with his opponent's ability to retrieve the ball. In squash, a player who obstructs his opponents efforts to get the ball, intentionally or not, loses the point. A few incidents caused Khwaja to become upset with himself. He ended up losing in straight games, 1511, 1510, 1513. Both he and Kwok showed frustration as they came off the court after their matches.

With those two wins, Colby had clinched the match. Colby gained an extra point at ninth singles when Dexter Mootoo '95 was ousted, 159, 1510, 155.

The Engineers were able to gain some consolation by capturing the final match to finish. Seventh singles player Mukund Venkatesh '95 won his first game easily, by a score of 154, but then lost the next game, 1513. Venkatesh proceeded to win the last two hard-fought games, 1512, 1511 to give MIT an additional point.

The Engineers hope for improvement in their next match on Thursday, Jan. 19 at home, against Amherst College.