Because of their stellar performances throughout the season, Callie DeLalio ’24 and Adam Lichtmacher ’23 were chosen to represent the Amherst squash teams at the College Squash Association’s National Individual Tournaments from March 4-6. With her 12-7 record throughout the season, usually leading the women’s team at the No. 1 seat, DeLalio was seeded 15th in the Holleran South bracket. With a 12-4 record, Lichtmacher’s season featured two tenacious reverse sweeps; he was set at the 14th seed in the Molloy East bracket.
Every team’s top player is selected to compete in the individual tournament. Usually occupying the number two seat on the Men’s Squash team’s ladder, Lichtmater was selected to the tournament after number one seat Robinson Armour ’22 was unable to compete.
DeLalio’s first opponent was the University of Virginia’s Maria Moya, the tournament’s second seed. Moya came out strong, overwhelming DeLalio with scores of 7-11 and 3-11 in the first two games. The Amherst sophomore, however, refused to be put away so quickly, leading the third game at one point but narrowly falling to Moya by two points in the end, sending her to Holleran South’s consolation bracket.
Using her newfound momentum, DeLalio fought hard against Columbia’s Sarah Cao to keep the first game close but again lost 9-11 in a thriller. Cao continued to dominate the rest of the match with scores of 6-11 and 3-11 in the next two games, ending the Mammoth’s season.
“I was really excited to play in the individual championships after a great season with the team,” said DeLalio. “[Even though] I lost both matches, I had a great time seeing how I stacked up against some of the best players in the country.”
As the 14th seed, Lichtmacher also faced a formidable first opponent in Karim Elbarbary of Princeton. Unfortunately, his results proved to be similar to DeLalio’s, as Elbarabary took the match in dominating fashion (6-11, 9-11, 6-11).
In the consolation bracket, Lichtmacher found himself facing off against Bates’ 11th-seeded Jesper Phillips — a familiar opponent for his teammate, Robinson Armour ’22. Lichtmacher easily won the first game 11-7, but Phillips fought to close the gap in the next two games, which they split 9-11 and 11-9 to put Lichtmacher up 2-1. Nevertheless, Bates’ top player was no match for Lichtmacher, as the Mammoth decisively took the last game 11-6 to win the match.
The story was the same in the consolation bracket’s semi-final. Lichtmacher took the first two games with little resistance, and while Brown’s Grant Sterman fought back to take the third game, Lichtmacher easily put him away with a stunning 11-4 finish in the fourth.
In his last match of the weekend, Lichtmacher faced University of Rochester’s Luis Enrique Moncada Gonzalez in a fight for the consolation bracket’s top slot, ninth place. Gonzalez and Lichtmacher each took easy games to begin the match, followed by two intense nail-biters which they split as well. The match came down to the last game — a position Lichtmacher has found himself in multiple times. While his mental game has proved to be incredibly strong in his numerous reverse sweeps throughout the season, Lichtmacher could not find the victory against Gonzalez, ending his season with a 10th place finish in the tournament.