Squash programs trounce Georgetown in season opener

Men’s and women’s squash swept Georgetown in its season opener Friday.

The No. 8 men’s and No. 15 women’s team won up and down the ladder, earning 9–0 wins against the Hoyas. Each Colonial defeated their opponents in three straight games to kick off the season and their four-game homestand.

“We really just wanted to get out some jitters, especially for the first years,” men’s and women’s team head coach Anderson Good said. “We were able to take care of business.”

The women started the night out with a bang. Junior Zuha Nazir played at the No. 4 spot, earning eight unanswered points in her first game and winning her other two games 11–2 and 11–3. She allowed just six total points on the night.

Junior Zoe Foo Yuk Han, who was named a co-captain this season, played at the No. 1 spot and kept her opponent under five points in all three games. The Colonials held their opponents to five or fewer points in 25 of the 27 games played.

Foo Yuk Han said she was happy and hopeful about the team’s performance after Friday’s decisive win.

“We really needed this first one to encourage people,” she said. “We have all these big matches coming up so this big win means a lot for us to boost our energy and our confidence.”

Two of the three new players on the women’s team saw action against Georgetown. Sophomore Nikki Pang and freshman Sasha Hinckley played at the No. 6 and No. 7 spots on the ladder. The pair won each game by an average of 6.33 points.

Foo Yuk Han said the trio of new faces gives the team different options in the lineup and adds a new perspective and game style.

“We have three new girls up in the top nine, so that’s a really refreshing start to have fresh new people, fresh new bodies, more ideas, more ways to improve and a different kind of game style,” Foo Yuk Han said.

The men’s team started similarly to the women, jumping out to a strong start and coughing up very few points. Seven different players kept their cross-town foe to only one point in at least one game.

The clean sweep was nearly threatened by Brando Sodi against senior Jamie Oakley at the No. 2 rung on the ladder. Their first match resulted in a high score of 15–13. After regaining his footing, he finished the next two matches and conceded only three combined points.

Four new members on the men’s side faced off with the Hoyas. Freshmen Karim Thabet, David Varela, Ian Blatchford and Rohan Bagli won each game by an average of 8.67 points in their collegiate debuts.

Junior Mohammad Alterki, who started at the No. 1 spot for the squad, said he has high hopes for the newly rostered players after their showing Friday.

“As a team, we were very impressed with them all ending their debut matches with wins,” Alterki said. “I think this is a great start for them to play the upcoming tough matches next weekend.”

Junior Salim Khan, who saw time at the No. 2 and No. 3 spots last season, did not compete. But Good confirmed he would be ready to go in the team’s pair of matches Friday and Sunday.

Both programs also saw a new addition to the coaching staff. A 2019 graduate and men’s squash All-American player, Moudy Abdel-Maksoud, rejoined the men’s and women’s programs as a student assistant coach.

Good said both programs need to focus and keep themselves at peak physical performance to take down its upcoming foe Virginia and Princeton.

“It’s time to buckle down,” Good said. “They know next week is going to be extremely crucial. We know UVA and Princeton are going to be very hard tests so we need to be right physically and mentally.”

The men’s team is back in action Friday to take on No. 9 Virginia at 5:30 p.m. The women’s team returns to the court Sunday at noon against No. 3 Princeton.

The Hatchet has disabled comments on our website. Learn more.