The Swarthmore Club Squash Team won its first division championship at the College Squash Association Men's Team National Championships, held last month at Trinity College. Playing in the G division and competing for the Hawthorn Cup, Swarthmore defeated the University of Minnesota (7-2), the University of Miami (6-3), and the College of Charleston 6-3 in the Cup finals.
This is the first division championship for the club squash team, which was revived in 2008 by Tarit Rao-Chakravorti '12 and now consists of 13 players.
Out of the approximately 80 collegiate varsity and club squash teams that compete nationally, teams ranked between 49 and 56 play for the Hawthorn Cup. After emerging victorious, team co-captain Jason Hua '15, a chemistry major from Lawrenceville, N.J., says the team was elated by its accomplishment. "It was incredibly exciting," says Hua. "I was refereeing Henry Ortmeyer's '18 No. 1 match when I heard my teammates go completely nuts after Matt Ho '18 won his match and clinched the team win. It was a really huge effort by the whole team."
Although only five players returned from last year's team, several newcomers contributed to the Cup-winning lineup. Ortmeyer, from Gladwyne, Pa., played in the top position all season and Ho, from Hong Kong, played from the number three and number four spots. Irving Stone '15, an economics major from San Diego, Calif., and Brian Lee '15, a psychology major from Kendall Park, N.J., joined the team and contributed at the No. 9 position. Aidan Pantoja '17, a native of Yorktown Heights, N.Y., who played briefly during the 2011-2012 season, rejoined the team and played at the number three and four positions. Harshil Sahai '15, an economics and mathematics major from Saratoga, Calif., and a four-year member of the team, served as co-captain with Hua.
The team expected a tough match in the final against Charleston, which beat Swarthmore 8-1 in the first round of last year's championships. Swarthmore emerged victorious this year to claim the Cup, with Hua noting that "it was a much closer win than our previous win (over Miami)." Ho won his match in five games at the number four position, and Arjun Vishwanath '16 dug himself out of a 0-2 hole to win his match in five games at the number five position.