Fordham Men’s Squash finished with a record of 3-2 at last weekend’s Navy Round Robin in Annapolis, Maryland.
The team started it’s weekend with a 9-0 loss to Navy, the tournament’s host. The team’s fortunes turned slightly on Saturday, though, with an 8-1 triumph over Georgetown Universit followed by a 7-2 loss at the hands of Haverford University. But the Rams had their best day of the weekend on Sunday, with a 9-0 win over Johns Hopkins University and an 8-1 victory over Navy’s “B” Team.
Freshman Griffin Fitzgerald lost just one of his matches in the four recorded contests; individual stats were not kept for Sunday’s match against the Navy “B” team. The New Jersey native credits his high school experience with helping him adjust to college life: “I went to a boarding school, Blair Academy, for my four high school years, so the adjustment to college life has been easy. My teammates also made the transition wonderful, as they reached out to me right when I got to school. Allison Levine from the student-athlete department has helped me transition academically by helping me organize my time with practices and matches.” Fitzgerald, fifth in Fordham’s lineup, is 6-1.
Also starring for Fordham in the first two tournaments was Whitestone, New York native Will Pantle, who won seven of his first eight matches in the third spot. Pantle won three of his four matches this weekend, including three in a row after a loss to Navy’s Jack Herold last Friday night.
In the leadoff spot, senior Peter Yuen split his four matches and now sits at 5-3 on the season; sophomore Bruce Czachor also split his four matches and now finds himself at 6-2. In the second slot, senior John Lennon went only 2-2 for the weekend but won a thrilling five-set match over Georgetown’s Michael Ficca on Saturday (6-11, 11-4, 11-6, 7-11, 11-3) as part of the Rams’ 8-1 victory. Continuing this theme, freshman Tommy White split his four matches, as did graduate student Joseph Hughes. Finally, junior and Ohio native Will Beatrez lost his only match of the weekend, and junior Justin Esposito lost his first and only match of the season to Navy’s Greg Hyer on Friday.
And as for the group’s success up to this point in the year, Fitzgerald credits his coaching staff for its encouragement, as well as the team’s structure at practices. “I can’t explain how influential these words and my teammates support was to my success,” Fitzgerald said. “Practices are run by both (head coach) Sahel (Anwar) and our assistant coach Scott (Young) and they have run practices in an organized way that has enabled me to work on each aspect of my game, and they have pushed us physically to get into D1 shape.”
Fordham’s squash team will return home for its next matches against Duke University and Penn State University the weekend of Dec 2-3.