Men’s and women’s squash nabbed wins up and down the ladder against Dickinson Saturday.
The No. 12 men’s squad (8-7) and No. 14 women’s team (5-11) returned home after a two week-long road trip to battle Dickinson’s No. 25 men’s (5-10) and No. 22 women’s (4-8) programs. All nine members of the men’s squad won their matches against the Red Devils, with only two matches extending beyond three games. Eight matches were held on the women’s side, but the Colonials won all of them in three games.
The Colonials’ win came as part of their senior day celebration.The men’s squad honored Jamie Oakley, Juan Sebastian Laguna and Geordie Laird, while the women’s team celebrated Engy Elmandouh and Emma Tyron. All five seniors won their matches in three games.
“This is the first class that I was ever lightly involved in the recruiting process, and this is a full four-year rotation to see how they’ve grown up,” Good said before the competition Friday. “All of them have matured incredibly. And additionally, as squash players, they’ve grown really, really well and adapted to the college style of play.”
Freshman Moustafa Montaser, who has held the No. 1 spot on the men’s ladder since the team returned to competition in January, was not present for Saturday’s competition.
Junior Salim Khan, who normally plays at the No. 2 spot on the ladder, rose to the first position to take on senior Abdelrahman Elsergany. Khan defeated Elsergany in five games.
Junior Inaki De Larrauri, meanwhile, was the only member of the men’s squad to extend a game past 11 points, beating junior Tanay Murdia 12-10 in their second game. De Laurrauri, placed in the No. 3 spot on the ladder, bested Murdia in three games.
All nine members of the men’s squad held their opponents to less than five points in at least one of their games, and junior Luke Stauffer was the only Colonial to keep an opponent scoreless in any game during his 11-0 win over freshman Hussein Eldesouky.
All three seniors were present on the ladder, with Oakley playing at the No. 2 spot, Laguna sitting on the No. 7 rung and Laird at No. 9.
In his four years with the program, Laguna said he has learned how to play squash as a team rather than as an individual.
“It really makes you play for your teammates, not only for yourself,” Laguna said before the meet. “So, in that sense, I think I’ve grown. Feeling that team spirit, and teamwork, it’s been good. Also, we have, like in any team, a couple of fights, but you manage to overcome them, and then that’s really key.”
Good said the trio has served as role models for their younger teammates in that they’ve handled “tense” games and nabbed two consecutive Hoehn Cups.
“When things are tough, things are tense, seeing how you conduct yourself, seeing how you kind of buckle down when under pressure, it’s very, very valuable and sets an incredible example for the younger groups,” Good said.
On the women’s side, sophomore Nikki Pang was the only one to extend a game beyond 11 points, beating senior Jaime Lee Edghill 14-12 in the second game of their match. Like the rest of the women’s squad, Pang won her match in three games.
Seven members of the women’s team held their opponents to less than five points in at least one of their games. The women’s team squashed Dickinson by an average of 6.83 points.
Sophomore Anna Moscovici held her opponent to just one point per game on the No. 8 rung to pick up her fourth win of the season.
Tryon and Engy bested their competitors by an average of six points each game. Good said the pair has served as the cornerstone of the program as leaders and top-three players.
“They’ve just been anchors for us that we’ve been able to kind of build around,” Good said before the competition. “So, on and off the court they’ve been terrific representations of George Washington and the squash program. They’re going to be missed, but it’s been a pleasure to have them.”
Elmandouh said before the match with Dickinson that her and Tryon have tried to lead by example to develop a tight-knit community among the women’s players.
“Our focus went more toward how we play and how we carry ourselves, and less so toward the result because yeah, of course winning is awesome and we all love to win,” Elmandouh said. “We’re all athletes, but I think what we sort of shifted our focus on is how we win and how we carry ourselves out there as representatives of GW, the team, and the program.”
The men and women’s squads will return to play Friday for the Mid-Atlantic Squash Conference Championship.