By Julian Howell
It is not an overestimation to say that Denison’s men’s squash team is on the rise. After a scintillating win at the Chaffee Cup, which was hosted at Trinity College in Haverford, Conn., the team is now ranked 33rd in the nation.
The team’s co-captains Andrew Krayacich ’16 and Marshall Crane ‘15 were thrilled about the overall performance and the heart showed by their teammates.
“The Denison men’s squash team had an amazing performance at nationals and I couldn’t be happier,” Krayacich said. “Everyone showed a lot of heart on the squash court and never gave up. Even if they were down in the second game they continued to fight and in some cases turned it around and won the match. We had to play two teams that were higher ranked than us and everyone brought out their A-game. Everyone has improved tremendously since the beginning of the season, which is always amazing to see.”
For Crane, this tournament marked the last time he would play squash for DU as a departing senior. Crane could not help but reminisce about his years as a member of the squash team.
“My experience during the four seasons that I have played on the Denison squash team has been very positive,” he said. “To have a program with such historical success like Denison from the midwest is rather unique, and further shows how special of a school this is.”
Denison was seeded third going into the Chaffee Cup, which took place the weekend of Feb. 20. The tournament consisted of teams ranked from 33-41 including the Northeastern Huskies, the No. 2 seeded John Hopkins Blue Jays and the No. 1 seeded Georgetown Hoyas.
On Friday night, DU took out the Northeastern Huskies with a dominant 7-2 victory. On Saturday, the team won the Chaffee Cup, defeating John Hopkins (6-3) and finally the closely contested match against Georgetown (5-4).
The Georgetown match was a nail bitter for Denison, as the team managed to upset the Hoyas by one point. The Big Red’s fate would be decided by Crane in his match against Georgetown’s Mac Williams in a best three out of five sets in the final.
Crane took the first set decisively, 11-4, but all of the other sets were extremely close. In the second set, Williams edged Crane 11-9. The third set ended with a tiebreaker, with Crane coming out on top.
With the opportunity to close out the match, the fourth set was crucial for Crane. The fourth set was by no means easy for him. It was back and forth between him and Williams, who almost forced a fifth set in the match, but Crane sealed the match with a 12-10 win in the fourth set.
Crane feels that the squash team is in a good place and will continue to improve after he graduates.
“Everyone is committed to the team’s success and has shown the capacity to improve” he said. “Hopefully with the help of some talented recruits, the team will achieve great things.”