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Lauren Mathieu

Sunday, Feb. 5, 2012 9:13 a.m.

Squash teams stay strong on Senior Day

Sophomore Jackie Shea prepares to return the ball back to her Bucknell opponent. Shea, the number one seed, helped lead the Colonials to victory over the Bisons. Francis Rivera | Assistant Photo Editor

This post was written by Hatchet Reporter Louis Serino.

If there is a single word to describe the GW squash teams, it would be “family.” And Saturday, both the men’s and women’s teams pulled together as a family for a 5-0 record over Senior Day weekend, sending their senior members out with a bang.

The No. 19 women’s team (10-8) swept three consecutive matches over Virginia, Vanderbilt and Bucknell as they bid farewell to seniors Tiffany Hingley, Lauren Mathieu and Caroline Shumway. Not to be outdone, the No. 18 men’s squad (12-8) echoed this success with two wins of their own over Vanderbilt and Johns Hopkins. Departing this season are seniors Jose Calderon, Brett Feldman and Adam Pistel.

“These seniors are the bomb,” men’s and women’s head coach Wendy Lawrence said. “They will be incredibly missed as players, leaders and recruiters.”

Dropping only one set against Vanderbilt, the men’s team cruised to a 9-0 victory behind especially dominant performances by sophomore Chris Bell and junior Player Haynes. In the second half of the double-header, after one final Feldman chest bump and Pistel signature handshake in front of the home crowd, the Colonials again proved their toughness by besting Johns Hopkins 8-1. The only game GW dropped turned out to be a rousing epic, as Bell fell just short in a marathon match ending 22-20 in the deciding set.

“This year’s group has worked very hard and overcome a lot of things,” Lawrence said. “They’ve really stuck together.”

The women began the weekend strong with a 9-0 sweep of Virginia on Friday. Sophomores Adriana Calderon, Maya Nair and Becca Imrich glided through each of their matches giving up six total points or less.

The GW women did not let up on Saturday, coasting to 9-0 triumphs over Vanderbilt and Bucknell. Vanderbilt had to forfeit the final four matches due to a lack of competitors. Lawrence attributed much of the women’s success to the leadership of the senior captains.

“The team never would have come as far as it has without them,” Lawrence said.

The graduating seniors who competed all performed admirably, winning every match in which they competed. The only senior who didn’t compete was Pistel, who suffered a foot injury two weeks ago in a grueling five-set match against St. Lawrence that held him out of competition.

“It feels great to win in our last games at home,” Calderon said. “But it is also bittersweet to be leaving. The seniors gave a lot to the team and the team gave a lot to us.”

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Junior Islam El-Fiky sends the ball back to his Hoya opponent earlier this season. | File Photo

Both the men’s and women’s squash teams took to the court this weekend, the men splitting their action and the women posting a decisive victory.

The men’s squad opened weekend play with a 9-0 loss to Dartmouth. Junior Islam El-Fiky dropped a 9-11, 11-5, 11-9, 11-8 decision at No. 1 singles to Christopher Hanson, just the third loss of his career. The only Colonial not to fall in straight set was junior Omar Sobhy, who fell in a  11-4, 9-11, 11-8, 11-5 loss to Nicolas Sisodina.

The Colonials traveled back to Foggy Bottom to host Haverford, postig a 9-0 victory. El-Fiky and Sobhy combined to allow 12 points across six sets, leading GW with straight set victories. Senior Jose Calderon posted 11-0, 11-2, 11-0 win over Harry Gallway at No. 3, and sophomore Chris Bell grabbed a win at the No. 7 position with an 11-0-11-0, 11-2 win over Bret Marlowe. Freshman David Moxley earned a near shutout at No. 9, allowing just one point in an 11-0, 11-0, 11-1 victory over Zachary Kaden.

The women’s team also hosted Haverford Sunday, and also posted a 9-0 sweep.

Sophomore Jackie Shea led the Colonials at the No. 1 slot with a dominant 11-2, 11-0, 11-0 win over Caroline Nightingale, followed by sophomores Kelly Barnes and Elizabeth Tapley, who competed the sweep of the top three slots by both earning 3-0 victories. Senior Lauren Mathieu grabbed a 11-0, 11-1, 11-3 victory at the No. 4 position and senior Tiffany Hingley followed with a 11-0, 11-1, 11-1 win at the No. 5 position.

The Colonials next head to Hartford, Conn. Dec. 2, facing three squads over the weekend: Connecticut College Friday and Trinity and Bowdoin Saturday.

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Junior Islam El-Fiky sends the ball back to his Hoya opponent Friday night. Avra Bossov | Hatchet Photographer

This post was written by Hatchet Reporter Mary Ellen McIntire

The men’s and women’s squash programs opened their seasons with decisive victories over Georgetown on Friday night, with both teams defeating their District rivals 9-0.

The Colonials emerged strong and ready to play, despite head coach Wendy Lawrence’s concerns that opening the season’s play against a cross-town rival would distract GW.

“It’s our first match of the season, so the pit bull is always that people are real nervous. There’s this expectation of Georgetown’s rivalry; it’s the first match of the season; you’ve got all these hometown crowds here,” Lawrence said. “So the big worry is that people are a lot more wired and pump a lot more adrenaline surging through their body than they realize, and they kind of forget basics, and they’re not thinking of their game plan.”

Junior Islam El-Fiky was a standout competitor, soundly defeating his opponent in three games: 11-6, 11-5 and 11-6. The rest of the No. 17 men’s team was equally sound. Seniors Jose Calderon and Adam Pistel, juniors Sam Ehrlich and Player Haynes and freshman David Moxley all picked up victories.

Lawrence said her teams have three goals for the season: to move up in rankings, to never be upset and to defeat teams the Colonials have not beaten before.

“The higher we get in the rankings, the harder that is,” Lawrence said. “We got a pre-season ranking this year of 14. We moved up one from the end of last year. We’re trying to shoot to get two, three or four spots higher.”

The No. 14 ranked women’s squad also came into their match determined to send a message to the Hoyas. Sophomore Jackie Shea said she thought the team came out pretty strong because it concentrated on being well-prepared for competition.

“We’re trying to focus on going back to basics,” Shea said.

Shea, who won her match 3-0, with scores of 11-5, 11-6 and 11-7, is joined in the women’s top three by sophomores Kelly Barnes and Adriana Calderon, who both won their matches 3-0. Senior Lauren Mathieu earned a narrow 12-10 win in her first set, sweeping her opponent 3-0.

Even with successful matches across her rosters, Lawrence still focused on how she can help her players improve going forward, examining how their play changes under pressure.

“We start practicing in September, and we don’t end until the first week of March,” Lawrence said. “It’s a constant struggle to keep these kids from being sick and hurt.”

The Colonials next travel to Annapolis, Md. on Nov. 12, where the women will face Drexel and the men will take on both Drexel and Northwestern.

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