Haverford School squash wins fourth consecutive MASA title

Haverford – The Haverford School varsity “A” squash team won its fourth consecutive MASA (Mid-Atlantic Squash Association) title Feb. 14, finishing its season in a convincing fashion after some early bumps.

Varsity “A” squash suffered an unexpected loss to Inter-Ac rival Episcopal Academy to open its season when five of Haverford’s top nine players were out due to injury or illness. With that one match, their hopes for repeating as Inter-Ac champions were dashed.

The Haverford squad then went on a tear, defeating every regular season Inter-Ac and nonleague opponent. The regular season highlight was a crucial 6-3 win at Springside Chestnut Hill Academy spearheaded by come-from-behind victories under tough conditions from sophomores Graham Joyce and Yeshwin Sankuratri. Because of this stellar play the Fords were able to retain a top-two seeding for the U.S. National High School Squash Championships in Philadelphia Feb. 2-4.

The Fords varsity “A” squash team was the defending national champion and easily won their first three matches, including a spirited 5-2 victory over powerhouse Avon Old Farms School. The championship featured a rematch with Connecticut rival, the Brunswick School. Haverford School and Brunswick met in the title match the previous two years. In this year’s final match, playing before a packed house, Brunswick bested Haverford, 5-2, with only No. 3 senior co-captain Grant Sterman and No. 7 freshman Quintin Campbell victorious that day. The three deciding matches for Brunswick all went to five games with Haverford’s Peter Miller, Spencer Yager and Christian Shah losing in the fifth by the smallest of margins. Haverford “A” finished the season ranked No. 2 in the nation.

Haverford still had one match to go, a Valentine’s Day rematch with EA for the MASA title that Haverford had won the previous three years. This time, the Fords topped the Churchmen 9-0, including a five-game thrilling come-from-behind win for co-captain Miller over EA’s senior co-captain Eric Kim.

For Haverford’s graduating seniors Miller, Sterman, Sam Turner and P.J. Rodden, it was a thrilling moment to be able to hoist the MASA trophy for a fourth-straight year, and a fitting way to end their high school squash careers. The seniors never sustained a losing season during all four years of high school, and along the way, in addition to the four MASA titles, could boast of three Inter-Ac Championships, a U.S. National High School Championship, and two second place finishes nationally.

“I am proud of all the guys for their enthusiasm, efforts, and belief,” said coach Asad Khan, Director of Squash Programs. “Varsity “A” finished with a 12-3 record and second in the country out of 108 teams that participated in Nationals. We had big victories and some emotional defeats, but our boys performed valiantly throughout the season and always did the best they could against adversities we faced.”

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