AMHERST, Mass. – In their opening match of the annual Pioneer Valley Invitational, No. 22 Amherst men's squash got back in the win column with a 6-3 win over No. 16 Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) on Friday night at Davenport Squash Center.
Cementing the win for the home side, Andrew Leung '22 capitalized on an early 2-0 lead in his matchup against Neel Das to prevail in four sets (11-5, 11-8, 8-11, 11-8) and bring home the Mammoths third win on the season (3-4). MIT suffers their fifth loss on the season tab, falling to 9-5.
Clinching the first set in their respective matches, Reginald Brewster '21 and Robert Parker '21 jumped out to an early lead on their opponents. Brewster rattled off another 11-5 win in the second against Robert Williamson to go up 2-0, before securing the Mammoths first win on the day with an 11-3 decision at number eight.
Brad Levin kept things close with Parker, bringing it to 6-7 but the Locust Valley, N.Y. native notched three unanswered points to go up 10-6. Levin responded by knotting the match at 10-10, but the second set eventually went in favor of Parker (12-10). The Mammoth continued his momentum in the final set, winning 11-7 to put Amherst up 2-0 overall.
Losing his opening set 11-6, Robinson Armour '22 answered in the second when he went up 5-2. However, MIT opponent Aman Sanger went on a 9-2 run to steal the second set before he solidified the first win for the away side with an 11-3 victory in the third (11-6, 11-7, 11-3).
Dropping 11-5 in his first set against Eli Kramer, Terrence Wang '21 fought hard to tie things up with a 12-10 mark in the second (1-1). With the match tied at 10-all in the third, Wang tallied two critical points to go up 2-1 on Kramer. The Engineer would go on to claim the fourth set (11-9) and hold the Mammoth to three points in the final set to nab the visitors second win (2-2).
Adam Lichtmacher '23 cruised past Joe O'Conner in set one (11-6), but the Engineer answered with a two-point triumph in the second set (12-10) before Lichtmacher regained his lead (11-6), going up 2-1. Lichtmacher was able to hold out and capped of the match with an 11-9 win in the fourth to put Amherst up 3-2.
Keith Lamp tied things back up at 3-3 after downing Nathaniel Mosse '23 7-11, 11-3, 11-3, 11-5 at number six.
Pavan Nagaraj '21 went up 2-0 against Matt McManus at number seven through two hard-fought 14-12, 12-10 wins. McManus followed up with a pair of wins himself in the ensuing sets (11-4, 11-6) but Nagaraj put Amherst up 4-3 when he claimed the final set 11-6.
Following behind the decisive win at #9 from Leung, Charles Sutherby '22 ended the opening night of competition with an 11-5, 11-8, 8-11, 11-5 victory at number three.
In day two action of the Pioneer Valley Invitational, men's squash will host Hobart in their first match at 10:00 a.m. before hosting Hamilton, which is slated for a 1:00 p.m. start.