Bob Burton, member of the Board of Directors for the Southeastern Squash Racquets Association (SESRA), reports on SESRA’s recent college tournament.
Atlanta, GA — College squash in the southeast took a step forward January 22-24 at Midtown Athletic Club in Atlanta. The third SESRA Invitational college meet featured teams from Vanderbilt, Tulane, College of Charleston, and University of the South (Sewanee) in a round-robin matchup. Both the Charleston and Sewanee clubs are new to college squash.
Vanderbilt swept College of Charleston in the leadoff match, 9-0, and went on to take Tulane 6-3, with Tulane’s Ben Zucker, Alex Margolick, and Ben Barnett winning matches. Charleston won its first intercollegiate match 5-4 against shorthanded Tulane later in day, with defaults at the 7 to 9 slots and wins by #1 Torey Broderson and #6 Peter Corbett.
Meanwhile, unheralded Sewanee was demonstrating its depth and winning its first intercollegiate match against Tulane, 8-1, featuring close five-game matches won by Sewanee at the #2 slot between Sewanee’s Slater Ottenritter and Tulane’s Teddy Hart and at the #7 slot between Knight Hammock and Tulane’s Alex Margolick. Tulane’s Jordi Goodman notched the Tulane win at #5.
That set up an all-Tennessee final – the first inter-Tennessee college squash match in history. Vanderbilt and Sewanee met on Sunday in the first match of what everyone hopes will become a steady rivalry.
The contest started off close, with Vanderbilt’s Angus Aronstein taking a see-saw five-gamer from Sewanee’s Russell Frelinghuysen, (6), 6, 7, (6), 5 at the #6 slot and Vanderbilt’s Tyler Kopp winning in straight games over Nelson Payne at #3. To counter, Sewanee’s Knight Hammock took Vandy’s John Hamilton in four games at #9. Vandy also took two matches of the next round with wins by Joe Ahmad at #8 and Austin Schiff at #5. Sewanee struck back as Slater Ottenritter took Vandy #2 Hunter Kinsella in four.
The best match of the weekend was Vanderbilt’s Zach Hoyt playing Sewanee’s Teddy Peterson at #4. Teddy took the first two games 12-10, 11-9 and looked to be in control only to drop the next two 12-10 and 11-4. The most exciting part of team squash is the final game of a close match with both teams lining the backwall and the score swinging back and forth. So it was that both players served for the match multiple times in overtime in the fifth, with the final tally falling to Vanderbilt’s Hoyt at 17-15. Sewanee also offered up a great contest at #1, where team captain Nick Platt took Vandy’s Mike Kofsky to a close fifth game, giving Vanderbilt the win 7-2.
Southeastern Squash (SESRA), which hosted the event, is looking forward to building intercollegiate squash in the Atlanta area and reaching additional collegiate teams in the coming year.