Varsity squash demonstrates perseverance in win against the Needham Rockets



Vishnu Urs of Brookline faced off against Matthew Weber of Needham. The varsity squash team won 4-3 against the Needham Rockets on Wednesday, Dec. 21.

The varsity squash team defeated Needham Rockets 4-3 for the boys varsity squash team’s first win and the girls varsity squash team’s second win of the season on Wednesday, Dec. 21.

As players lined up from both teams, there was a stark contrast in the number of players. Since Needham had a limited roster because a portion of their team was out sick, the teams played co-ed matches. This did not deter the intense, competitive matches, each of which was played in a best-of-five-games format.

The Rockets demonstrated impressive endurance throughout the series of matches as each player played two matches, some back-to-back.

However, it was the Warrior’s precision in striking the ball that proved to make a difference. The Warriors frequently executed precise shots and placed the ball where they wanted, often catching the Rockets off guard and creating scoring opportunities.

Squash head coach Steve Lantos said he appreciates the perseverance and determination shown by both teams and wants the Warriors to continue to focus on fitness this season in preparation for longer matches.

“This is a good example of where matches go to five [games] and [players] just want to put the racket down, end it or do a kill (finishing) shot. I liked how both teams played to the very last point,” Lantos said.

In the rank one match, sophomore Vishnu Urs faced off against Needham’s Matthew Weber in a series of close games. All five games were intense with both players displaying excellent skills. Urs took an early lead in the first game, but Needham fought back and scored five straight points to win the game with a final score of 11-7.

The second game was even closer with both players matching each other shot for shot. With a score of 7-7, Needham hit a series of drop shots directly above the tin, scoring four points in a row.

The third and fourth games had little room for error for Brookline and ended with both going in favor of Urs, with final scores of 11-7 and 12-10, respectively.

The fifth game in the matchup was a showdown with Urs and Weber pushing themselves to the limit. Tied 11-11 after a back and forth exchange of points, the Rockets managed to pull out a win with a final score 13-11, bringing the final overall matchup score to 3-2 in favor of Needham.

In the rank seven matchup, Brookline senior Helen Krakoff faced off against Needham’s Daniel King. The gripping match felt like a constant battle between the two players.

King played with plenty of variety, aiming for deep shots and shots closer towards the wall, while Krakoff focused on consistency in her precision with her serves and driving the ball deep down the line to the corners of the court. King said Krakoff’s placement gave her the edge to win.

“She had really good placement, especially with her serves, and that was definitely tricky. Honestly, I think that was what won her the game, her ability to control the ball,” King said. “The deep shots were especially tough, so I think [that was] well played on her part, putting those shots really deep.”

Junior and girls varsity captain Ofri Geva said she’s happy to see the team improve since the first day of practice and thinks that squash provides the opportunity for players to grow and appreciate key values.

“I think we can learn how to have fun with the games and it’s not just about winning,” Geva said. “[Squash] is about having fun with your opponent and getting to know everyone.”