No. 9 Men’s Squash finishes fourth at the Hoehn Cup

After defeating Franklin and Marshall, the Cavaliers fell to Drexel in the semi-finals and St. Lawrence University in the third-place match.

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Junior Toby Hansford won the match for the Cavaliers against No.16 Franklin and Marshall.

Courtesy Virginia Athletics

After riding a five-game win streak into the Dunlop Squash top 10, No. 9 Virginia men’s squash (16-7) secured the top seed in the Hoehn Cup — the B division of the College Squash Association National Team Championships — which was hosted this past weekend at Yale University’s Brady Squash Center.

The Cavaliers kicked off the tournament with their third meeting against eight seed No. 16 Franklin and Marshall College (15-8). As with the past two meetings with the Diplomats, the match came down to the wire, with Virginia edging out a 5-4 victory. Although it was only the first match of the tournament, Coach Mark Allen was quick to highlight the notability of the Cavaliers’ win. 

“With today's win we are guaranteed to finish this season with our highest ever ranking,” said Allen. “One that the guys fully deserve and have worked so hard for.”

However, the following semifinal match against No. 13 Drexel University (7-10) proved to be too big of a task for the Cavaliers. After falling to the Dragons 6-3 in Philadelphia three months prior, Virginia fought hard to avenge the loss, but eventually lost 5-4 in part due to a 1-5 sweep by Drexel. Nonetheless, wins by freshman Glenn Yates and sophomore Andrew Braff validated the depth that Virginia will have entering their third season as a varsity program.

After their heartbreaking semifinal loss, the Cavaliers played their final match of the season against No. 11 St. Lawrence University (7-8) for third place. Having not played St. Lawrence before, unfamiliarity with the Saints may have played a role in the loss, as Virginia fell 7-2, with wins coming from Braff and sophomore Matthew Katz. 

Despite the disappointing end to the season, Allen was upbeat about the prospects of Virginia squash. 

“Our final ranking will be 12 and that's two spots up from 2017-18,” said Allen. “Getting our first ever wins over Princeton and then George Washington and winning the inaugural Mid-Atlantic Team Championships were some of the highlights.”

Given their rise to the top 15 in only two years as a varsity program, Virginia men’s squash has a lot to look forward to in the coming years. With one of the nation’s premier squash facilities at the McArthur Squash Center at Boar’s Head, and a strong freshman class led by Patrick McElroy and Yates, a top-10 finish next year is more likely than ever for the Cavaliers. 

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