Squash's J-Term Highlighted by Chang's Perfect Game

Both the men’s and women’s squash teams started January strong before stumbling against tougher competition to end the regular season, finishing 10-8, and 9-4, respectively.

Charlie Sutherby '23E prepares to hit a backhand slice. Photo courtesy of Amherst Athletics.

Women:

After their devastating 0-9 loss to Drexel on Nov. 21, the Mammoths resumed their season in January with six dominating victories.

On Jan. 11, the Mammoths headed to Maine to face the Bowdoin Polar Bears. Daksha Pathak ’23 led the ladder in a difficult win against Bowdoin’s Amanda Cowhey. The Mammoths added to Pathak’s prowess, sweeping the rest of the ladder and recording zero dropped games.

The team stayed in Maine the following day, facing the Colby Mules on Jan. 12. Colby featured a ladder of only underclassmen. The Mammoths capitalized and swept the Mules, winning all 27 games in a 9-0 win.

The Mammoths traveled to Bates on Jan. 13. While the score was closer, key individual sweeps from Lilly Soroko ’22, Lauren Weil ’22, and Isabelle Tilney-Sandberg ’25 in the middle of the ladder were essential in Amherst’s 6-3 victory.

The following weekend, Amherst hosted Hamilton and Haverford in the Pioneer Valley Invitational. The Mammoths swept both games, beating both the Continentals and the Fords by 9-0 scorelines. The Mammoths’ dominance was evident all weekend, headlined by Supriya Chang ’25 winning her match in just over ten minutes, without losing a single point.

In their next time out on the courts, a commanding 8-1 victory over Middlebury on Jan. 19 ended a decade-long losing streak to the Panthers, and extended their winning streak to six matches. However, that hot streak would come to an end only a few days later, with an 1-8 loss to then-No. 12 Tufts, and another brutal loss to Harvard, the No. 1 team in the country.

With the annual Little Three Championship against Williams and Wesleyan postponed, the Mammoths didn’t take the floor again until Feb. 1. Soroko, Keeley Osborn ’22, Emma Spencer ’23E (Managing Photo Editor), and Margaret Werner ’22 were honored in their final appearance at the Davenport Squash Courts in their loss to No. 12 Dartmouth.

In their final matchup of the regular season, the Mammoths faced Connecticut College. Led by the DeLalio sisters at the top of the ladder, the team only dropped two games en route to a sweep.

Despite a 10-8 record, the Mammoths enter the postseason ranked 13th in the nation. The ladder’s depth stands as their strength ahead of the NESCAC tournament this weekend. Sophomore Maggie Pearson ’24 said as much, stating, “Overall our team’s January matches showed us that we should have more faith in ourselves, after going up against [tough] teams like Midd and Bates, we’ve proved that we can compete and win against tough competition, which is a great mindset going into NESCACs this weekend.”

Men

After a short break, the men’s team resumed their season in a difficult 3-6 loss to Bowdoin on Jan. 11. Adam Lichtmacher ’24, Yeshwin Sankuratri ’24, and Andrew Leung ’23E won their matches at the No. 3, No. 7, and No. 9 spots in the loss.

However, the Mammoths bounced back with a 7-2 win over Colby the very next day. While Robinson Armour ’23E was unable to finish off Jonathan Sosa after a 2-1 start, Nate Mossé ’23 avenged him in his own match, winning at the No. 8 spot in a spectacular 3-2 comeback.

In their narrow 5-4 victory over Bates on Jan. 13, Lichtmater delivered again in another nail-biter. Facing a 0-2 deficit, Lichtmater rebounded to tie the match, winning the third and fourth games by scores of 11-6 and 11-4. Like in the two previous games, Bates’ Ramlee was not able to put Lichtmater’s tenacity away in the deciding final game, and Amherst returned from Maine victorious, going 2-1 during their roadtrip.

The men swept Hamilton and Haverford at the Pioneer Valley Invitational on Jan. 15 and 16 in dominating fashion. They lost only three games in a 9-0 sweep of Hamilton, and didn’t drop a single game against Haverford. Against the Continentals, six different Mammoths won their games in 25 minutes or less.

The Mammoths’ burgeoning win streak extended to five after a breezy 7-2 victory over Middlebury on Jan. 19. Lichtmacher, Mossé, Leung, and captain Charlie Sutherby ’23E all swept their matches 3-0 in yet another stellar performance. With their momentous victory, the Mammoths ended a 20-game losing streak against the Panthers, earning their first win against their bitter NESCAC foe since 2008.

However, a three-match Boston road trip provided stiff competition. In a close contest at MIT, Abhi Gupta ’25 was the only Mammoth to win in straight sets, and a loss in the final match of the day handed the Mammoths a heartbreaking 4-5 loss. Their tough weekend continued the next day, with Sutherby the only victor in an 1-8 loss to Tufts. No. 1 Harvard then swept the Mammoths, ending Amherst’s road trip with another loss.

Dartmouth visited for the Mammoths’ final home match of the season on Feb. 1. Despite a Dartmouth sweep, spirits were high, and the Mammoths fought hard in every match in honor of their graduating seniors Armour, Leung, Sutherby, Shayan Hussain ’22, and Pavan Nagaraj ’22 who were honored before their last match at the Davenport Squash courts.

An 8-1 win over Conn College on Feb. 2 offered a much-needed confidence boost to end the regular season. Numbers 2-9 on the ladder showed no mercy, winning all 24 games in a rout of the Camels.

The Mammoths kicked off their NESCAC tournament run against Bates on Feb. 5. The match could not have been closer, with six of nine matchups going to five games. The entire match ultimately hinged on the final matchup of the day between Sankuratri and Bates’ Jairaj Singh. Sankuratri pushed the match to five sets, fought off four match points, and had three chances to seal the win. In the end, though, he fell short, losing the final game 19-17. However, the Mammoths found some solace, closing the season with back-to-back consolation bracket victories, taking down Hamilton 8-1 and Tufts 7-2 to claim 5th place.