To understand GW’s dominance on the squash court this weekend, just look at their opponents’ totals: Not a single Colonial foe won a match.
The women’s team commanded the court against No. 30 Johns Hopkins and No. 31 Bucknell. Anna Gabriela Porras, a freshman from Bogota, Colombia, led the team as the Colonials’ No. 1 player, and took home a win to improve her season record to 10-4.
Playing the last match of the series, Porras captured the lead early on and held onto it while her teammates and spectators watched. Her victory was a continuation of the pace set by her teammates, and the women’s team swept both the Blue Jays and Bucknell 9-0.
“It was a good match, but the last match was hard,” Porras said. “The rallies were good and long.”
At the same time, the men’s squash team dominated the court against the newly established Maryland team. The matches were fast paced and one-sided, with GW holding the clear advantage.
Coming into this tournament for the fourth year, Sam Ehrlich, a senior, took it upon himself to pump up his teammates by speaking about the importance and opportunity of the weekend’s opponents.
“We always play these teams in this tournament this weekend,” Ehrlich said. “It’s a good time to practice certain shots, and it gives you more leeway to try out new techniques.”
Defeating Maryland was a win that set the Colonials back on track and brought the men’s team confidence for their next match against Brown. They won 7-0, dominating the court and playing just seven players throughout competition. GW swept each match in straight sets, controlling every aspect of play.
“It was nice getting back on track after a couple of losses, since we’ve got Brown next weekend to determine our seeding at the national championship,” Ehrlich said.
After this weekend, both freshman James Reiss and senior Omar Sobhy are leading the men’s squad with identical 15-2 individual records.
It’s going to be a long week for both the men’s and women’s squash teams while preparing for their upcoming matches. The upcoming matches next Sunday at Brown are crucial for both teams, but the Colonials first have to play at home against Drexel Saturday afternoon.
It will be a quick turnaround and a grueling weekend pace heading into the Brown competition, but the players say they’re up for the challenge.
“This weekend was good training for Brown. During the week, we’re training five days a week and conditioning, and there’s also a lot of mental training,” Porras said. “We’re going to keep it up. This sport may be very individualistic, but at GW we’re a family. We have a big team and we’re supportive of one another.”