Date Posted:12/10/2002, 8:00AM
by Eileen Schneider
Big Bowdoin Weekend; Dec. 7-8
The weekend of December 7th and 8th brought big events for both the men and women of Bowdoin Squash. The women emerged from the Wesleyan Invitational with a 5-0 record while the men traveled to Willams to take on the Ephs and Trinty College.
The Bowdoin men showed the depth and grit that they are increasingly known for as they looked to reverse a decades-old series of defeats at the hooves of the purple cows. Bowdoin capitalized on their depth with wins from Doug Weeden, Chris Metcalfe, Grant White, and Captain George Hubbard at positions six through nine, respectively. Mike Fensterstock and Geordie MacLeod also provided wins in exhibition matches. Bruce Saltzman fell in four close games at the fourth position, bringing the score to 4-3 Bowdoin with two matches on court. Eric Toan looked strong at number five, leading 2-0 in games, while Jon Crowell was locked in a very even battle at number three. Toan could not hang on to the lead as his opponent wrested the match from his grips, and the loud Williams gallery focused attention on the number three match up, with the team scores even at 4-4. Crowell was up 2-1 heading into the fourth game, but could not withstand a late surge from Williams? Dan Bishop, who took the fourth and fifth, clinching the Ephs? 5-4 win. Bowdoin was very pleased with their wins in exhibition and the bottom half of the ladder. Close matches from Crowell, Saltzman, and Toan also looked promising for the Polar Bear?s efforts to exceed the expectations of higher-ranked opponents this season.
Fueled entirely by Handi-Snacks and good old H2O, the Bowdoin women?s squash team emerged from the Wesleyan Invitational with a 5-0 record against Wesleyan, Hamilton, Mt. Holyoke, Wellesley, and St. Lawrence.
The Polar Bears opened the weekend with a battle against Hamilton on narrow hardball courts. Bowdoin picked up early wins from Seniors Merrill Muckerman, at the #2 position, and Lindy Stanley at #4. Both Muckerman and Stanley won in three games, as did Freshman #1 Elpiniki Clement, Senior #3 Whitney Hodgkins, and Junior #5 Eileen Schneider. The meat of the competition occurred in the 6th ? 9th positions, where each match was 4 or 5 games. Senior Rachel Rones lost a hard-fought match in the fourth game at #6, and Freshman Margaret Fuller displayed her energetic style in the 8th slot before falling in the fifth. The two most exciting matches of the morning belonged to Junior Melissa Miness at #7 and Freshman Molly Dorkey at #9, both were pushed to five games, Miness bringing home a win for her efforts and Dorkey letting her opponent narrowly escape 9-7 at the final frame.
St. Lawrence 8-1
Bowdoin and St. Lawrence entered their Dec. 7th match holding on to the #13 and #12 rankings in the country, and the Bowdoin win was a mild upset, but the 8-1 result was clearly reflective of the Polar Bears? level of intensity. Following the morning?s 6-3 scare at the hands of Hamilton, the Bowdoin players took nothing for granted as they approached St. Lawrence. The 8-1 win included decisive 3-0 wins from eight Bowdoin players. Muckerman played a powerful game on the way to a win over Gigi Tuten at the #2 position. Stanley, Fuller, and Senior Allson Allukian at #10 followed suit with 3-0 wins in the first round. Fuller produced a commanding victory, leaving her opponent scoreless over three games at #8. The second round brought 3-0 wins from Clement, Hodgkins, Schneider, Miness, and Dorkey.
Bowdoin defeated Mt. Holyoke 8-1 finishing out a successful first day at the Wesleyan Invite. Muckerman, Stanley, and Fuller led the charge with first round 3-0 wins at the 2nd, 4th and 8th positions respectively. The 3rd position was dominated by a fierce Whitney Hodgkins, who dropped only two points on the match. The 4-0 Bowdoin lead was followed by a 3-0 win from Schneider at #5. Miness closed out a four-game match at #7 before the crowds gathered at the five-gamers waging on in the #1 and #9 slots. Clement came back from a 1-2 deficit to take Holyoke?s Liz Hughes 9-1 in the fourth game and 9-3 in the fifth, closing out the #1 match and staying undefeated at 7-0 for the season. The gallery quickly filled in at the #9 match up where Molly Dorkey, another well-hydrated P. Bear, pulled out a W in the fifth to finish out the Polar Bears?s 8-1 final score.
Bowdoin entered the second day of matches with the energy, power, and hydration capacity of a herd of water buffalo. The girls in Black drew on their success in all three matches Sunday to spark the intensity. All ten proud Polar Bears came out on the offensive against Wesleyan at 9:00 am, and Wellesley immediately following. The tone was set early in the morning as Stanley dispatched her opponent at the #4 spot, dropping only two points on the match. Muckerman quickly joined her in the winner?s circle, leaving her Wesleyan opponement at #2 with only four points. At #8 Margaret Fuller hung onto the first game against a strong opponent, taking it 10-9, before forcing a fifth game with a commanding 9-1 resurrection in the fourth. Fuller, always a model of composure, built on her momentum, winning the fifth 9-2. At the #10 exhibition spot, Molly Dorkey came back from a defeat in the first game to sweep the remaining games and take the match 3-1. As the even numbers wrapped up, Bowdoin reloaded in the 5 remaining matches. Freshman ringer Niki Clement joined senor Co-Captain Whitney Hodgkins with identical scores at #1 and #3. Both dropped just two points in the first game before blanking their opponents 9-0, 9-0 to close out strong. To round out Bowdoin?s 7-2 win, Schneider and Rones produced 3-0 wins at #5 and #7, respectively.
The final battle of the weekend was a re-match of Bowdoin?s 1-8 loss to Wellesley on Sunday at the 2002 Nationals. Veterans were eager to avenge the defeat and the determination was evident as Bowdoin picked up the top five matches without losing a game. The match started off with Merrill Muckerman?s elegant match at the #2 slot, where she gave up only one point. Lindy Stanley followed, taking Caroline Connor 3-0 in the 4th position. The second round of matches brought two battles further down the ladder, as Molly Dorkey pushed her #9 match to five games, and Rachel Rones battled on to 9-9 in the fourth before succumbing at #7. Eileen Schneider, Whitney Hodgkins, and Niki Clement swept up quickly at #s 5, 3, and 1 to clinch the 5-4 win for Bowdoin.
The victory celebration was long awaited, as the Bowdon Women have gone over two seasons since going truly undefeated at a weekend round robin. Number one player Niki Clement remains undefeated while the girls in black improve to 8-1 for the season.