Squash’s Depth Across the Ladders Proves Essential for Opening Weekend Success

Highlighted by the women's team's 5-4 win against Stanford University, both squash teams went 2-1 in their first weekend of play.

Squash’s Depth Across the Ladders Proves Essential for Opening Weekend Success
Photo Courtesy of Amherst Athletics

Over Thanksgiving break, the women’s and men’s squash teams took the courts for the first time since February 2020. Both teams traveled to Philadelphia and swept dual meets on Saturday, Nov. 20 before dropping their Sunday matches to top-10 team Drexel University. The 13th-ranked women's team routed Dickinson College 8-1 before beating 10th-ranked Stanford University 5-4. The 17th-ranked men’s side edged out a 5-4 win against Dickinson College before topping the U.S. Naval Academy 6-3.

Women’s Squash

In their season opener, the Mammoths won 25 out of their 30 combined games en route to a decisive victory against 18th-ranked Dickinson College. In her collegiate debut, Tanmai Pathak ’25 won at the top of the ladder, setting the pace for the whole team. Amna Fayyaz of Dickinson took a 1-0 lead in the top match before Pathak rallied back to win the next three games and the match.

That afternoon, Amherst fought hard to upset 10th-ranked Stanford. After dropping the four games at the top of the ladder, the 5-9 spots came up big to push the Mammoths over the Cardinal. On the day, Callie DeLalio ’24, Lilly Soroko ’22, Isabelle Tilney-Sandberg ’25, and Maggie Pearson ’24 all won both of their matches — notably, Tilney-Sandberg and Pearson did not drop a single game.

After a successful Saturday, Amherst matched up against seventh-ranked Drexel University in a battle of two undefeated teams. While the Mammoths put up a solid fight, they dropped all nine matches to Drexel. This was Drexel’s sixth sweep of the young season.

Reflecting on the weekend, Daksha Pathak ’23, former NESCAC Freshman of the Year and All-NESCAC First Team player shared, “It felt amazing to play matches again, especially after not having a season [last year, due to Covid]. The whole team has worked so hard since the season started and it was really rewarding to see that displayed in our results. In addition to having the opportunity to play, the most memorable part had to be cheering for my teammates on the women’s and men’s team”

Men’s Squash

The Mammoths squeaked out a pair of opening wins over the weekend through sheer perseverance. Their opening match against Dickinson College came down to the number-six matchup between Captain Charles Sutherby ’22 and the Red Devils’ Zachary Hollander. After dropping the first game 6-11, Sutherby powered back to win the following three 11-2, 11-9, 11-7. Kedar Nagaraj ’24, Sutherby, Andrew Leung ’22, and Nate Mossé ’23 all won both of their matches on Saturday, bringing key points to the team. Neal Malani ’24 won his first match at the top of the ladder against the Naval Academy to add an additional win in the Mammoths’ matchup with the Midshipmen to put Amherst ahead 6-3.

Like the woman’s side, after a successful Saturday, the Drexel men's team swept the Mammoths to win 9-0. Matthew Granovsky ’25 recorded the only Amherst game-win on the day, taking the third game in his matchup at the eighth spot on the ladder.

Both teams plan on taking the momentum from Saturday and lessons from Sunday forward as they begin their NESCAC campaign. Both sides host Trinity, the reigning men’s and women’s NESCAC champions, on Tuesday, Dec. 7 at the Davenport Squash Courts at 6:30 p.m.