Yomalis Rosario / The Dartmouth Senior Staff
Facing a team that has lost only one match in the past 13 seasons and is undefeated this season is no easy task mentally or physically, but the No. 8 Big Green men's squash team put up a valiant fight against No. 2 Trinity College on Tuesday evening in the Berry Sports Center. The men (4-4, 1-2 Ivy) ultimately fell 1-8 against the Bantams (7-0, 0-0 NESCAC). The No. 8 Big Green women's team (3-4, 0-3 Ivy) had more success and earned three matches in the 3-6 loss also against No. 3 Trinity (8-0, 0-0 NESCAC).
Chris Hanson '13 was the sole victor of the day for the men, winning his match 3-1 against the Bantams' Juan Vargas. Head coach Hansi Wiens said that Hanson's change in technique after a grueling 8-11 first game helped Hanson, and that his ability to come back and win 11-5, 11-7 and 11-8 demonstrated that he is a "high-class athlete."
James Fisch '16 took his opponent Juan Lopez to four games by snagging the critical third game, but he was unable to clinch the win.
Hanson said he enjoyed playing a challenging team like the Bantams.
"It's actually kind of nice because the pressure is off for us," Hanson said. "[Trinity] has been the best team for the last two decades, so it is fun to go in and see how far we can push against some of the best guys and see if we can get any upsets."
The team should approach the season with a winning mentality, Hanson said.
"We have some younger and inexperienced guys high up on the ladder this year, so it is important that they know to trust the hard work they've put in, and that they can outlast the other guy and win matches," Hanson said. "We not only want to beat the opponents, we should, but see if we can beat better players and work toward our goal of being the best team in the country."
On the women's side, Nina Scott '16, Lydie McKenzie '16 and Helena Darling '15 all took their matches in the early round of play. The team's momentum and hope of winning it all, however, dissipated as matches continued.
Kate Nimmo '14 and Kensy Balch '14 each took one game in their respective matches, while the other Big Green women fell in straight games.
In regards to the women, Wiens said he felt the team "might win the whole match" at first, but that they did not "pull through" the two additional wins they needed.
Co-captain Corey Schafer '13 said the women's team tries to look at the "small pieces" instead of the big picture.
"We have had lots of training and matches against each other since October, so now we have to trust in the work we've done and focus on each shot, each point and each game as a new opportunity," Schafer said. "We hope that the small chances add up into something tangible."
Wiens said he thought both teams demonstrated their talents, even though neither clinched a win.
"Trinity is very strong and have usually been pretty tough for us, but I think that we fought well and tried hard and just couldn't close it up and finish to come through with the win," Wiens said. "There were a lot of tight matches that could have gone either way. I think we showed that we are becoming a lot closer to Trinity and earned their respect."
The teams do not need to focus as much on specific squash skills, but must be conscious of their game plans and their mental toughness, Wiens said.
"I think [they] just need to come out and fight and play as well as [they] can," Wiens said. "They need to concentrate on the tactics the coaches give them and think of these strategies between rallies. Squash can be a really fast game so it is important to concentrate so you make less mistakes."
The men's and women's teams traveled to Princeton, N.J. and Philadelphia over the weekend to resume Ivy League matches. The teams had not competed in the Ivy League since their matches against Harvard University late November. Both teams fell to Princeton University, with the men earning a single match while the Big Green women were swept 9-0. The following day, the men rebounded to defeat the Quakers (3-4, 0-2 Ivy), this time only dropping a single match. The women, much the same as the day before, finished without a win.
Schafer added that team is not deterred by their recent losses.
"Trinity was a tough opponent, yet we did perform well as a team," Schafer said. "We need to trust in the system [Weins] put in place and remember there is a long way to go still this season."
Previously the Big Green men went 3-1 in the Fall Classic held in Hanover, only losing to Franklin and Marshall College by one match. The women came out undefeated 3-0, sweeping St. Lawrence University, Bowdoin College and Franklin and Marshall (4-3, 0-0 CC) all 9-0.
The Big Green travels next weekend to take on Bates College and Stanford University, both in New Haven, Conn.