Oct. 31, 2012
ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- Navy sophomore Jim Kacergis (Malvern, Pa.) overcame the odds to become the 38th different winner of the USS Barb Squash Racquets Perpetual Trophy when he knocked off defending champion and classmate Andrew McGuinness (Merion Station, Pa.) in the annual tournament held last week.
Kacergis eased his way into the finals by way of 3-0 sweeps against teammates Alex Sweet, senior Hunter Bouchard (Greenville, Del.) and team captain John Richey (West Hartford, Conn.), setting up the championship match against McGuinness who a year prior became only the third freshman in the 50-plus year history of the tournament to win the coveted trophy which was established in 1958 by the late Admiral Eugene Fluckey, a Medal of Honor recipient.
McGuinness faced a bit more resistance in his path to the finals, defeating Peter Gao and rookie Bill Kacergis (Malvern, Pa.) in three games before battling second-year standout Hunter Abrams (Wilmington, Del.) in a 3-1 decision.
Last year McGuinness cruised to a 3-0 win over the elder Kacergis and this year's final looked as though it would again be McGuinness in three after winning games one and two, 11-8 and 11-1. However, Kacergis foiled McGuinness' chances at repeating and instead wrote his own storybook ending. He took a hard-fought game three, 11-8, and evened the match in the fourth with an 11-6 victory. Kacergis went on to upset McGuinness by taking the fifth and deciding game, 11-7.
"It was a typical Jim Kacergis effort," said Navy head coach Craig Dawson.
"The entire tournament was one of the more competitve Barbs in recent memory. It was a great competition leading up to this weekend's opener."
After dropping the opening game against Richey to determine the No. 3 and 4 positions on the ladder, Abrams came back to win the match in four games, 2-11, 13-11, 11-4, 11-9. Junior Hunter Beck (Lafayette Hill, Pa.), who lost to Abrams in four games in the second round, won the No. 5 slot after sophomore Colin Barry (St. Louis, Mo.) bowed out via an injury. Barry won his opening back of the tournament in four games over classmate John Hsu (Jackson Heights, N.Y.), but was tripped up by Richey in the second round in a four-gamer. He bounced back to beat Bouchard in four before sitting out his match against Beck.
In perhaps the most exciting match of the tournament, Bouchard fought off Bill Kacergis in five games to take the No. 7 position on the ladder. Kacergis took a 2-1 lead with wins in games one (13-11) and three (11-9), but the more experienced Bouchard rallied back to earn wins in the final two games, 11-9 and 11-7.
Taking the No. 9 spot on the ladder was rookie Mitch Bottini (New Hamburg, N.Y.) who scored an 11-5, 11-7, 12-10 victory over Cotter Walker (Orlando, Fla.).
The week-long Barb Tournament pits the Navy squash players against one another in a round robin competition which then sets up an elimination tournament. The tournament results determine Navy's starting lineup to begin the season which is slated to officially kick off this weekend when the Mids play host to the Navy Invitational. Navy battles Virginia on Friday afternoon at 4:00 pm in its opener, followed by a 7:00 pm nightcap against Bard. The Mids also face Bucknell (9:00 am, Saturday), Swarthmore (11:00 am, Saturday), Lehigh (3:00 pm, Saturday, Boston University (5:00 pm, Saturday), Sewanee (11:00 am, Sunday) and Washington (1:00 pm, Sunday) this weekend.
2012-13 Navy Squash Ladder
1 - Jim Kacergis
2 - Andrew McGuinness
3 - Hunter Abrams
4 - John Richey
5 - Hunter Beck
6 - Colin Barry
7 - Hunter Bouchard
8 - Bill Kacergis
9 - Mitch Bottini
10 - Cotter Walker
11 - John Hsu
12 - Jack Shinnick
### Go Navy ###