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MIT Club Squash Team Places Second in League Competition

By Ali Merchant and Chris van Schalkwyk
Team Members

Coming back from a fifth-place mid-season slip, the MIT A-league squash team, sponsored by QM-USA, placed second in the Massachusetts Squash League. The team fell 31 against the Concord-Acton team in last Tuesday's finals match.

"This is a significant improvement over last year when the team ended seventh in the state," said Team Captain Chris van Schalkwyk PhD '96. "We've worked hard throughout the season and we are happy that it paid off," he said.

In the semi-finals the team consisting of Ali Merchant G, Mohammed Ayaz, Cliff Wenn, and van Schalkwyk defeated University Club 31.

The final was played against Concord-Acton, and it was clear from the outset that it was going to be a tough match. Merchant, ranked number one individually, played a spectacular game and beat club pro Paul Ansdel, 90, 108, 93. Ayaz started off very well with a 70 lead in the first game, but eventually lost against a fighting Jeremy Goulding. The victory gave Goulding confidence, and he defeated Ayaz 30.

Although Wenn played well in the front court and moved his opponent great distances, he failed to keep up the pace of the game and lost 30 to Rob Davis. van Schalkwyk easily took the first game against Ron Beck but ultimately exhaustion took its toll in the long five game match and he was beaten 49, 95, 91, 79, 94.

The team started the season well and maintained its number two position for the first part of the season. However, the team slipped into a fifth rank tie with the Harvard Club team when the top two players, Merchant and Wenn, were absent during the Independent Activities Period. To get back into the play-offs the team had to win two crucial matches against University Club and Harvard Hemenway. With the team again at full strength, they won both matches 41 and 50 respectively.