No. 16 Amherst Edged by No. 17 Middlebury, 5-4

Senior co-captain Lee Banta earned a hard-fought 3-2 win in the No. 8 match.

MIDDLEBURY, VT – The 16th-ranked Amherst College men's squash team fell just short of picking up its second win in as many days, dropping a hard-fought 5-4 match to 17th-ranked Middlebury College Wednesday afternoon to mark its first loss of the season. The Lord Jeffs drop to 3-1, while the Panthers improve to 6-1.

Middlebury jumped out to a 3-1 lead after the first wave of matches, with senior co-captain Lee Banta (Westfield, NJ) recording Amherst’s lone victory. Banta won the first two games by scores of 11-8 and 11-4 before Simon Keyes stormed back to win the next two games, 11-4 and 12-10. Banta regrouped for the deciding fifth game and put the Jeffs on the board with an 11-6 win.

Amherst won three of the remaining five matches but suffered 3-0 losses in the No. 1 and No. 5 matches to fall just short of the victory. Playing in the No. 3 spot, junior Brian Warner (Atlanta, GA) picked up Amherst’s most impressive win by overcoming a two-games-to-none deficit. After Middlebury’s Spencer Hurst won the first two games (11-9, 11-9), Warner took the next three by scores of 12-10, 11-9 and 11-3.

Amherst’s third and fourth victories came from sophomore Todd Lavine (Atherton, CA) and senior Saahil Sud (Brampton, NJ) in the No. 7 and No. 9 matches, respectively. Neither player surrendered a single game, with Lavine defeating Addi DiSesa by scores of 11-9, 11-3 and 11-9, and Sud knocking off Will Piekos, 11-6, 12-10, 11-4.

In a thrilling No. 2 match between Amherst first-year Charles Loesch-Quintin (Philadelphia, PA) and Middlebury’s Jay Dolan, the Panthers earned what became a critical point when Dolan edged the Lord Jeff youngster in five games. Loesch-Quintin took the first game, 11-8, before Dolan earned wins of 11-7 and 11-9 to take the lead. The match would require a fifth game after Loesch-Quintin edged out an 11-9 win to tie things up at two games apiece, but it was Dolan who closed the match with an 11-5 victory.

The Lord Jeffs will return to action Saturday, Jan. 16, when they host No. 8 University of Pennsylvania at 5 p.m.

Wednesday, Jan. 13 - #17 Middlebury def. #16 Amherst, 5-4    
1. Valentin Quan (M) def. Steve Severson (A), 3-0 (11-5, 11-8, 11-2)
2. Jay Dolan (M) def. Charles Loesch-Quintin (A), 3-2 ([8-11], 11-7, 11-9, [9-11], 11-5)
3. Brian Warner (A) def. Spencer Hurst (M), 3-2 ([9-11], [9-11], 12-10, 11-9, 11-3)
4. Brian Cady (M) def. Kevin Cecala (A), 3-1 (11-9, [6-11], 11-9, 11-6)
5. Eliot Jia (M) def. Tom Rapisarda (A), 3-0 (11-9, 11-2, 11-7)
6. Micah Wood (M) def. Matt Arnold (A), 3-1 (11-9, 11-1, [7-11], 12-10)
7. Todd Lavine (A) def. Addi DiSesa (M), 3-0 (11-9, 11-3, 11-9)
8. Lee Banta (A) def. Simon Keyes (M), 3-2 (11-8, 11-4, [4-11], [10-12], 11-6)
9. Saahil Sud (A) def. Will Piekos (M), 3-0 (11-6, 12-10, 11-4)