AMHERST, Mass. – Pavan Nagaraj '21 and David Merkel '19 posted impressive wins at the sixth and seventh spot, but it wasn't enough as the Mammoths fell to Middlebury College 7-2 on Friday evening at Davenport Squash Courts.
A back and forth clash is what ensued on court five when Nagaraj took on Panther Wiatt Hinton at the sixth spot. Nagaraj jumped out to the early lead against Hinton, claiming the first set 13-11. Hinton responded with a demanding 11-3 victory in the second to bring things back to even. It went to extras in the third set as Nagaraj was able to eventually snag the triumph by a 14-12 margin. The Mammoths went on to mark their first win on the day when Hinton fell in the fourth set by a narrow 11-9 decision.
At number seven, Merkel faced off against John Epley where he dropped the first two sets 10-12 and 7-11. After a slim victory in the third (11-9), Merkel was able to notch the second win on the day for the Purple & White as he concluded the final two sets with decisive, 11-5 and 11-4 victories.
However, Middlebury was able to sweep the first and fifth spots when Teddy Best (11-8, 11-8, 11-5) and Justin Ghaeli (11-5, 11-6, 11-5) made short work of their opponents. Charlie Sutherby '22, Robinson Armour '22 and Harith Khawaja '19 were each able to snag a set off of their opponents (Jacob Ellen, Jacob Kagan, Nicholas Bermingham) but ultimately fell short in each match.
Nate Moll was able to grab the first set against Christopher Zimmerman '20, 11-9, before the Mammoth answered with a hard-fought 16-14 decision in the second. Zimmerman continued his momentum into the third where he won 11-4, but lost the final two sets 11-6 and 11-4.
Thomoas Wolpow rounded out the day with the sweep on Reginald Brewster at number nine even after the exhausting 18-16 victory in the first set (18-16, 11-6, 11-7).
The Mammoths drop to 2-3 overall on the season while the Panthers move to 4-2. Amherst heads back to Davenport Squash Courts on Tuesday, January 15th when they host Dickinson College at 12:00 PM. Middlebury is set to host Bowdoin College tomorrow (January 12th) at 12:30 PM.