The MIT squash team, ranked No. 25 in the Dunlop Men’s College Squash Association (CSA) Preseason Poll, went 1-3 this weekend at the Navy Round Robin held at the United States Naval Academy over the weekend.
The Engineers fell to No. 16 Navy, 9-0, and Johns Hopkins University, 5-4, on Saturday morning, but bounced back against Bucknell University, 5-4, before falling to No. 24 Hobart College, 6-3, on Sunday in MIT’s first road trip of the season.
Jeffrey H. Hu ’18 was the only Engineer to take a set against Navy at position No. 3 in the opener by a score of 11-5, as Navy’s offensive attack was too much for the Cardinal and Gray. After dropping the first two sets by 11-7, 18-16 decisions, Hu took the third 11-5 to avoid the sweep.
After Johns Hopkins took the first set, Nikhil N. Punwaney ’17 evened the second match 1-1 with an 11-5, 11-7, 11-7 sweep of Blue Jays’ Luca Pinelli. The Engineers had a 4-1 match advantage after Hu, Dominic G. Hansford ’17 and Bowen Baker ’16 swept their respective opponents.
The Blue Jays battled back to take the final four matches, two of which went to five sets, for the 5-4 victory over the Engineers. Both Marina F. Crowe ’16 and Elizabeth L. Wei ’19 fell behind early at No. 7 and No. 8, but took the third and fourth sets before falling in a decisive fifth, giving Johns Hopkins the win.
Against Bucknell, MIT opened with five straight victories as the Engineers claimed the 5-4 win over the Bison. At the No. 1 position, Justin P. Restivo ’19 was taken to five sets, but in the fifth Restivo hung strong for the 11-8 win for the early 1-0 match advantage.
Punwaney, Hu, Hansford, and Baker all followed with three set sweeps of their respective opponents to seal the win for MIT.
In the final match of the weekend, MIT fell to nationally ranked Hobart by a 6-3 score. Hobart’s Josh Oakley opened the match with a 3-1 win over Restivo, but the Engineers fought back with three straight wins by Punwaney, Hu and Hansford.
Despite falling behind 3-1, Hobart took the final five sets, all in 3-0 sweeps, to claim the 6-3 win over MIT.
MIT (5-3) competes next on Friday, Nov. 20 at Harvard University against Stanford University. Action is expected to get underway at 5:00 p.m.