Posted by: Staff | 01.18.2010

Squash: Beaver’s Secret Best Sport

SEBASTIAN SMITH ’11

This year I decided to try playing a new sport in the winter. As I looked at the options, one sport stuck out to me: squash. I knew nothing about it. My father had told me stories of playing during his childhood, so I thought I would try it for a week and switch into basketball if I did not enjoy it. Unfortunately, Beaver does not have their own squash courts, and the team travels ten minutes down the road to the Boston Sports Club in Allston. When I first saw a squash court, I was dumbfounded; I had no idea how it was possible to play a sport in such a small court with four walls.

The game is played with two players who use rackets to hit a black ball about the size of a golf ball but as firm as a tennis ball against the front wall. The object of the game is to hit the ball in a way that your opponent cannot return it before it bounces twice, similar to tennis. Your opponent receives a point if you hit the tin, the space from the floor to 19” above the floor on the front wall. Also if you commit a stroke, your opponent will get a point. A stroke occurs when a player is blocking his or her opponent’s way to returning the ball.

I quickly learned squash requires sprinting in every direction to chase a barely visible ball traveling above 80 mph. Racket skills are very useful in squash; the object is not to hit the ball the fastest but locate it to make your opponent work to return the ball. Playing in a box shaped court, many times a player is forced to lightly tap the ball to avoid smashing their racket on the walls.

The Beaver Squash team has had two matches so far this season against Belmont Hill and Portsmouth Abbey, which was a great learning experience for most of our players. Each team member is ranked and then matched to the same ranked player on the other team. Each game is to eleven and a match is best of five. The winner of the match receives one point for his team. Beaver lost to the very strong Belmont Hill team 11-1. However our former number one seed, Lukas Mead ’10, defeated the Belmont Hill number one seed in an epic five game match which came down to the last point. With the match tied two all Lukas was down nine to seven but fought back to a tie even though he was exhausted to the point that most of our team was sure he would either pass out or throw-up. But Lukas did neither; instead he smashed a shot into the right corner to take the lead and won the match on a stroke. Mead pumped his fist in victory, shook his astonished oopponent’s hand, and eagerly sat down drenched in sweat to rest after a job well done.

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