Squash triumphs at home

Though both teams took to the road and lost Sunday, GW’s men’s and women’s squash teams defended their home court Saturday with a pair of 9-0 sweeps against Haverford College.

Because the match was the final one at home this season for the 20th-ranked men’s team (8-7), senior Matt Grossman was honored as the team’s lone graduating member before he went out and won his last home match.

“Matty has been a steady No. 1 or 2 player for his whole college career,” head coach Wendy Lawrence said. “When he leaves the game, it is going to leave a big hole in his life.”

Though most of its roster is relatively young, the men’s team is ranked fourth in its division entering next week’s team nationals in New Haven, Conn. Because he is the team’s only senior, Grossman said he tries to act as a mentor to his teammates.

“This team is definitely young, but by far the best team I have ever played on,” Grossman said. “I believe in this team and have confidence going into nationals. We have had some solid wins this year and they serve as a motivational boost heading into nationals.”

The women’s team (4-5) will have more than a week before it begins postseason play Feb. 25 at the Howe Cup, also held in New Haven, Conn. Head coach Maura Myers said the team went into the season with some fear and uncertainty, but became more assured after a few victories.

“In the beginning of the year, the team was intimidated a little,” she said. “But we have had some key wins this year that have boosted our confidence.”

Myers also attributes much of her team’s success to conditioning.

“Everyone is healthy because of the extended time spent with the strength and conditioning coach,” she said. “We also avoided the swine flu”, she added.

The women’s team will end its regular season with a home doubleheader Saturday against Georgetown at 11 a.m. and Virginia at 3 p.m. The men’s team will begin national competition Friday against an opponent that has yet to be determined.

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