No. 21 Squash Shuts Out No. 28 Tufts

Senior Nikhil Punwaney
Senior Nikhil Punwaney

THE BASICS:

Score: No. 21 MIT 9, No. 28 Tufts University 0

Records: No. 21 MIT (16-4), No. 28 Tufts University (13-8)

Location: Cambridge, Mass. (Zesiger Sports and Fitness Center Squash Courts)

The Lead: The No. 21 ranked MIT squash team used six 3-0 match scores to blank No. 28 Tufts University on Friday evening inside the Zesiger Sports and Fitness Center. After defeating the Jumbos by a 7-2 score a year ago, the Engineers shut out Tufts for only the second-time in program history as the last time came back during the 1977-78 campaign.

HOW IT HAPPENED:

- Senior Nikhil Punwaney (Dubai, United Arab Emirates) played the closest match of the day at the No. 4 position. Punwaney defeated sophomore Brett Raskopf 9-11, 11-4, 10-12, 11-6, 11-8.

- Freshman Vedaant Paul Kukadia (Mahasset, N.Y.) earned his team-leading 16th win of the season as he swept junior Braden Chiulli 11-7, 11-4, 11-6 at the No. 3 position. Kukadia was joined by sophomore Justin Restivo (Phoenixville, Pa.) at the No. 1 position, junior Jeffrey Hu (Phoenixville, Pa.) at the No. 5 position, freshman Neel Das (Needham, Mass.) at the No. 6 position, classmate Avery Lamp (Short Hills, N.J.) at the No. 8 position, freshman Wonjune Kang (Seoul, South Korea) at the No. 9 position and sophomore Peter Griggs (Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.) at the No. 10 position as they all won by 3-0 set scores.

- Hu, who won 11-6, 11-8, 12-10, and Kang, who won 11-7, 11-8, 11-8, each earned their 14th win of the year to improve to 14-3 and 14-2 overall, respectively.

- Senior Tyler Finkelstein (Greenwich, Conn.) and freshman Raghav Kumar at the No. 2 position as well as graduate student Bowen Baker (Nevada City, Calif.) and junior Sandeep Rishi traded points over the first two sets, but both Engineers were able to win the final two sets in their respective matches to preserve the shutout. Finkelstein won 11-8, 5-11, 11-5, 14-12, while Baker won 9-11, 11-3, 11-5, 11-4.

UP NEXT:

- MIT travels to No. 24 Amherst College tomorrow for its final match of the regular season beginning at 1:00 p.m., while Tufts hosts Boston College on Sunday, February 12 in its regular season finale at 4:00 p.m.

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