Panthers Squeak By No. 17 Williams During Summers Cup Play

John Epley clinched the fifth point Sunday with a three-game win at No. 7.
John Epley clinched the fifth point Sunday with a three-game win at No. 7.

The 18th-ranked Middlebury men's squash team edged No. 17 Williams by a 5-4 score during the Summers Cup Third/Fourth-Place match at the CSA Team Championships. Sunday's contest was played at the Chelsea Piers Athletic Club in Stamford, Connecticut. The Panthers finish the season ranked 19th nationally with an overall record of 15-6, winners of four of their last five matches.

Sunday's contest marked the third time this season the two teams have played to a 5-4 decision. The Panthers were victorious at home on January 5, before Williams earned a narrow win in the NESCAC Semifinals.

Middlebury raced out to a 2-0 lead in Sunday's back-and-forth matchup with the Ephs (15-12). Teddy Best started things with a narrow three-game victory in the sixth position over Krish Bhavnani (11-9, 11-8, 12-10), while William Cembalest recorded a four-game triumph at No. 3 against Carl Shuck (8-11, 11-9, 12-10, 11-9).

Williams cut the deficit to 2-1 with a five-game win at the bottom of the ladder. Jacob Ellen pushed the Panther edge out to 3-1 via an 11-3, 11-6, 11-7 win against Wyatt Khosrowshahi in the second slot. The Ephs leveled the match at 3-3 with a four-game win at No. 8, followed by a five-game victory in the fifth position.

Middlebury was victorious in the next two matches to earn the win. Justin Ghaeli lost the first game, but rebounded to claim the next three for a win atop the lineup over John Fitzgerald (8-11, 11-6, 11-5, 12-10). John Epley tallied the decisive fifth point for the Panthers, edging A.J. Solecki in the No. 7 spot (11-9, 14-12, 11-3).

The Ephs posted a five-game win in the fourth slot for the final 5-4 score.

Selected individuals will compete from February 28- March 2 at the CSA Individual Championships in Providence, Rhode Island. The event will be hosted by Brown and the Moses Brown School.