Jan. 29, 2007
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - Despite overpowering performances from sophomore Nikhil Khanna in the No. 1 spot and graduate student Ashwin Deshpande in the No. 2 position, MIT was clipped by visiting Fordham University, 5-4, in squash action on Saturday afternoon. The Cardinal and Gray could be excused for being a bit road weary, as it had dropped an away match against the No. 10 ranked U.S. Naval Academy on Friday night.
In the first match of the weekend, the nationally ranked Midshipmen of Navy were simply too much for the battling Engineers, who had no answer to the speed and power of their counterparts.
However, Tech did well to bounce back and put up a courageous fight the following afternoon against the Rams. The previously aforementioned Khanna (9-4, 9-4, 9-1) and Deshpande (9-2, 4-9, 9-0, 9-0) were dominant, while the Engineers also picked up victories from sophomores Saad Zaheer (9-1, 9-6, 9-1) and Balaji Sridhar (9-1, 9-2, 6-9, 10-8).
Head coach Jim Taylor reserved special praise for the gutsy Sridhar, who conquered his opponent while fighting through an ankle injury.
Senior Jehan DeFonseka's match was a microcosm of how close the overall competition was, as he fell by a mere two points in the decisive fifth game. Taylor commended freshman Andrew Yoon and juniors Kunal Dusad and David Baumgartner for their brave play, as well, as they all forced their matches beyond the minimum three games.
MIT will return to the court on Wednesday, Feb. 7, when it travels across the city to take on Northeastern University at 6:30 p.m.