Their seasons won’t end for another month, but for both the men’s and women’s squash teams there was a sense of urgency Saturday afternoon against Franklin and Marshall for Senior Day.
Every athlete in a GW uniform Saturday wanted to see seniors Mike Bower, Tiffany Hingley and Eliza Ehrlich come away with one last team victory at home before finishing their Colonials careers on the road.
While the women’s team successfully managed to earn a 7-2 win over the Diplomats, the men’s team found itself on the wrong side of a 9-0 Franklin and Marshall sweep.
The men struggled mightily against the Diplomats, leaving Bower, a team captain, visibly frustrated during his final home match, a testament to his status as a team leader for the Colonials.
“[Mike] is so serious and so mature,” head coach Wendy Lawrence said. “Sometimes our men have trouble focusing but never Mike. He is always so focused. He is one of our hardest workers.”
On the men’s side, sophomore number one player Islam El-Fiky struggled with an ankle injury that needed to be re-wrapped in between sets and lost for just the second time this season in a five-set match.
“We didn’t expect him to be able to go to five sets,” Lawrence said. “Even injured, he was moving better than expected.”
Sophomore number two player Omar Sobhy also lost in five-sets Saturday. Freshman Larkin Brinkworth made his season debut after a long layoff, falling in five sets but showing strongly, Lawrence said, for someone who hasn’t played much this season.
“Larkin played really well today,” Lawrence said. “I really wished that he could’ve gotten that win.”
While the men’s team struggled, the women’s team saw some of its players have some of their strongest performances of the season. Freshmen Jackie Shea and Kelly Barnes won at the top of the women’s ladder, and junior Caroline Shumway was especially dominant in her straight-sets win in the six spot.
The men’s and women’s teams will travel to Clinton, N.Y., next Saturday to take on both Hamilton and Northeastern and will finish their regular seasons next Sunday in Providence, R.I., where they will take on Brown. Team and individual national championships will begin late February and continue through early March.
“We are looking to close out the season strong before nationals,” Lawrence said. “We will move forward after a tough match today.”