Quakers fall in Hoehn Cup final
2010 champ Penn loses to Western Ontario in B division title match
February 28, 2011, 5:19 am · Updated February 28, 2011, 12:00 am·
When the impending birth of his second son caused men’s squash head coach Jack Wyant to leave the men’s National Team Championships after the first round of play, Penn, along with assistant coach Amy Gross, was forced to rise to the occasion on its own.
After advancing to the Hoehn Cup (B division) finals, defeating Bates and Williams, the Quakers fell short, losing 7-2 in the title match to Western Ontario. With the win, 2009 Hoehn Cup champion Western Ontario wrestled the title back from the Red and Blue, who won it last year.
After beating Bates handily on Friday (7-2), things were looking good for the Quakers, as they managed to close out Saturday in the semifinal with a 6-3 defeat of No. 11, Williams.
“We came up really strong,” Gross said. “We came prepared to play.”
Junior Trevor McGuinness, who lost his match to Williams’ Jack Ervatsi, 3-2, after sweeping his Bates opponent, said that the win over Williams was the highlight of the weekend, as the competition between the two teams is historically tight. Earlier in the season, Penn snuck by the Ephs with a 5-4 win.
“There’s nothing better than beating them,” McGuinness said.
It was only when the Quakers met No. 9 Western Ontario that they surrendered their streak, losing to the Mustangs.
Title loss aside, both Gross and McGuinness took pride in the team’s performance. Gross praised all the team members for stepping up even in Wyant’s absence, and called the tournament “overall a great weekend” and an opportunity to “improve on what had been a disappointing season for some of the players.”
McGuinness, who scored one of the two individual victories against Western Ontario, said that though the Quakers were not expected to win outright, “the score wasn’t indicative of how well we played.” He added also that the match was particularly competitive given that Penn’s number two, sophomore Dan Greenberg, had been to the hospital the day before with a case of shin splints.
According to McGuinness, Harvard’s courts lack the spring system that other facilities have installed below their floors, making for a tough surface that causes shin splints to “come back immediately.” Preceding the match against Western Ontario, Greenberg had beaten Bates’ Nicholas Echeverria 3-0, but lost to Williams’ Will Gruner, 3-1.
The loss to the Mustangs, who beat the Quakers, 5-4, when they met last in 2009, will leave Penn at No. 10 overall, one place lower than where it ended the season in 2010.