November 7, 2006
The Amherst College Men's Squash team had a very successful 2005-2006 season, improving their national ranking to 10th from 11th in 2004-2005. A big upset against Brown University (5-4) in the semifinals of the Hoehn division of the Potter Cup (Teams ranked 9th-16th) brought them to the finals against Cornell. This was a triumphant win for Amherst, who fell to the Brown Bears 7-2 during the regular season. Although Amherst fell to the Big Red, the Jeffs secured their place as one of the top 10 teams in the country.
The Jeffs showed a lot of poise in the CSA tournament, demonstrating their ability to compete with some of the best players in the nation. Now senior Peter Hatfield bested Brown's number four player in come-behind fashion. In the CSA Molly Division individuals (players ranked 33rd-64th nationally) Amherst saw strong play from sophomore Drew Blacker, winning his first round match against a Williams opponent but falling to a top Cornell player after getting ahead 2-1. The squad showed strength during the season, putting together three close road wins early in the season at Tufts (5-4), Bates (5-4) and Bowdoin (6-3). But due to a tough schedule and some tough losses the Jeffs could not seem to gain momentum down the stretch, finishing with a record of 9-10. The Jeffs placed second in the Little Three Championships, but will look for revenge when they travel to the lion's den: the Simon Squash center at Williams College.
Amherst returns all of the top six players from the 2005-2006 lineup, including senior captain Auloke Mathur, Peter Hatfield and Stuart Landesberg. Junior Mark Rapisarda will be returning from a semester abroad in Prague, Czech. Rep., along with sophomores Gautam Kalani and top-seeded Drew Blacker. The Jeffs will receive additional support from senior Craig McCready , junior Andrew Slutsky as well as sophomores Jerome Giovinnazo and a healthy Brian Warner.
Amherst loses tri-captains Nick Haslett and Tyler Mixter as well as senior Edward Schleyer to graduation, all of whom led the team on and off the court. In the number seven and eight spots they provided crucial wins down the stretch, including wins against Bowdoin and Brown. Haslett finished his Amherst College career with a win against the number eight Cornell player, one of only two team wins in the match. Schleyer provided the team with leadership in the locker room as well as wins on the lower end of the ladder.