MIDDLETOWN, Conn. – Noah Browne '16 delivered a decisive 3-2 comeback win in the No. 1 match to lift the Amherst College men's squash team past Drexel University, 5-4, in the consolation finals of the Summers Cup (C Division) at the CSA National Team Championships on Sunday.
With the win, the 20th-ranked Lord Jeffs (12-13) finish 21st overall at the national tournament, edging the 19th-ranked Dragons (10-12) after Drexel had beaten Amherst, 6-3, in the season opener on Nov. 30.
With the score knotted at 4-4, the match came down to the No. 1s and the contest did not disappoint. After Drexel's Justin Singh '14 won the opener, 11-7, Browne came back to take a close second game, 11-9, but the Amherst rookie fell behind 2-1 as Singh outlasted him in the third, 12-10. Digging deep, Browne rallied, winning 11-9 and 11-8 to take the thrilling matchup and deliver a team victory to the Jeffs. After an undefeated weekend at No. 1, Browne ends his first-team All-NESCAC season with an impressive 16-7 individual record against many of the nation's top players.
Before Browne's dramatic triumph, the middle of the Amherst lineup kept the Jeffs in the match as Dave Kerr '14, Alex Southmayd '15 and Max Kardon '15 won at Nos. 4-6, respectively. Kerr's match was another riveting five-gamer as he took a seesaw battle from Drexel first-year Joey Gingold. Winning the opener 11-9, Kerr slipped in the second, 11-8, but took the third by the same margin. The trading continued as Gingold won a tight fourth, 11-9, but Kerr was too strong in the decisive game, pulling away for an 11-7 win as he finished 3-0 for the weekend.
Southmayd jumped out to a great start at No. 5, taking the first from Sebastian Dangond Gala '15, 11-3. The Dragon sophomore rebounded with an 11-7 second-game win, however, and things stayed close the rest of the way, but Southmayd outlasted Gala's comeback bid, taking the match 3-1 with exciting 12-10 and 14-12 wins. Kardon needed little of higher matches' drama at No. 6 as he capped an undefeated weekend by sweeping Mark Kauf '16, 11-4, 11-9 and 11-4.
Amherst's final triumph came in an exciting No. 8s contest as Jake Albert '15 recovered from an opening-game setback to Harshil Dokania '15, winning a marathon second, 14-12, then shrugging off an 11-8 Dokania win to dominate the fourth, 11-2, and prevail in the fifth, 11-8.
Drexel's wins came in easier fashion than most of Amherst's, as the Jeffs' No. 2 Charles Loesch-Quintin '13 and No. 3 Scott DeSantis '15 both fell by a 3-1 margin while Stephen Cacouris '16 and Rodrigo Quan Miranda '14 also suffered four-game losses at Nos. 7 and 9, respectively.
The win ends Amherst's team season on a high note as the Jeffs matched last year's 21st-place finish at the national championships. The winter will likely continue for certain team members at the CSA Individual Championships, hosted by Trinity March 1-3, with participants to be announced this week.
CSA Championship Brackets
NO. 2O AMHERST 5, NO. 19 DREXEL 4
1. Noah Browne (A) def. Justin Singh (D), 3-2 (7-11, 11-9, 10-12, 11-9, 11-8)
2. Ibrahim Bakir (D) def. Charles Loesch-Quintin (A), 3-1 (10-12, 11-6, 13-11, 11-4)
3. Binura Jayasuriya (D) def. Scott DeSantis (A), 3-1 (7-11, 11-3, 11-9, 11-8)
4. Dave Kerr (A) def. Joey Gingold (D), 3-2 (11-9, 8-11, 11-8, 9-11, 11-7)
5. Alex Southmayd (A) def. Sebastian Dangond Gala (D), 3-1 (11-3, 7-11, 12-10, 14-12)
6. Max Kardon (A) def. Mark Kauf (D), 3-0 (11-4, 11-9, 11-4)
7. Ben Bevan (D) def. Stephen Cacouris (A), 3-1 (13-11, 11-8, 9-11, 11-7)
8. Jake Albert (A) Def. Harshil Dokania (D), 3-2 (7-11, 14-12, 8-11, 11-2, 11-8)
9. Nick DiDonato (D) def. Rodrigo Quan Miranda (A), 3-1 (11-9, 11-6, 8-11, 12-10)
10. Nick Sorrentino (A) def. Kevin Sacherman (D), 3-1 (10-12, 11-4, 11-7, 11-9)