Varsity squash loses close game against Beaver Country Day School



The varsity squash team lost 4-3 to Beaver Country Day School on Friday, Jan. 6, in a co-ed match. Squash head coach Steve Lantos said the players brought great energy to the game, cheering each other on.

The varsity squash team lost 4-3 to the Beaver Country Day School (BCDS) Beavers on Friday, Jan. 6, in a co-ed match that marked the boys varsity squash team’s third loss and the girls varsity team’s fourth loss of the season.

As both teams lined up, there was a visible difference in the number of players competing from Brookline and BCDS, with Brookline bringing more players. As a result, a handful of members of BCDS played two matches, with an extra match being competed in a best-of-three game format, straying from the typical best-of-five game format.

As the match commenced, crowds of players, parents and coaches gathered around the court of Brookline boys captain and senior Rohan Sekhar and opponent Aleisi Jilani as their second-ranked contest intensified and scores drew closer.

Jilani raced to an early lead, securing an 11-6 first-game win against Sekhar bolstered by a successful combination of deep strokes and putaway volleys. However, Sekhar fought back in the subsequent match and was able to record a straightforward 11-4 second-game win. In the third game, with the match deadlocked at one game apiece, Sekhar went down an early 10-4 lead, facing six game points against him.

However, despite Sekhar winning six consecutive points to level the game at 10-10, Jilani took the game, winning the last two points with dropshot winners. Jilani went on to win the following game 11-6, taking the match with a 3-1 victory.

Sekhar said that despite the score ultimately not tilting in his favor, he felt emboldened by the strong support he received from the crowd.

“It was a rough result, but honestly, it was compensated for by the amount of support. It’s nice that the game was this close by, so people could come out and watch. It was a really fun experience,” Sekhar said.

In the third and fourth-ranked matches, girls co-captain and senior Helen Krakoff and freshman Eva Forman both fell in tough three-game matches, losing 13-11, 11-3, 11-7 and 11-8, 11-6, 11-6, respectively.

In spite of the hard-fought losses today, girls co-captain and junior Ofri Geva said that the girls varsity team has quickly improved despite not having extensive squash experience, which has contributed to the feeling of community on the team.

“I think we created a great environment during the match, where everyone was supporting each other and there was a spirit of camaraderie in the air. I’m really satisfied with how we are playing,” Geva said.

Squash head coach Steve Lantos said that the emphasis on precise, hard-struck serves was crucial for both Brookline teams, particularly the girls varsity team, to keep matches competitive.

“We practice good serves everyday, and I noticed everybody taking that to heart and trying to incorporate it into their match play,” Lantos said. “For many, that made the difference in competitive games, as they could string off a series of consecutive points that their opponent could not.”

Rounding out the boys varsity team were sophomore Fredrik Schreiber, junior Jayvyn Elmekias and senior Leander Goessling. All registered comprehensive, uncomplicated three-games wins, driving strokes deep down the court into corners and stunning spectators with precise volleys and finishing shots.

Elmekias said that while he was relieved to secure a hard-fought victory, winning or losing wasn’t his concern while playing.

“Even though I won, I wasn’t most concerned about getting the win today. At the end of the day, it’s about having fun on the court, and that’s always been my motto,” Elmekias said.

Lantos said that the most heartwarming part of the match was not the victories attained by the team, but rather the sense of community developed within the teams.

“I loved hearing the boys cheering on girls and the girls cheering on boys. Even though on paper, we’re separate girls and boys teams, I loved the spirit of the cheering during the matches,” Lantos said. “It truly brings both teams together as one larger Brookline team. It means a lot to me, and I hope it means a lot to the players.”