Jan. 8, 2013
ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Following a month away from competition, the 19-3 Navy squash team returns to action on Wednesday night when it plays host to 11th-ranked Western Ontario at the Halsey International Squash Courts beginning at 5:00 pm.
The Mids, who enter Wednesday’s match ranked 16th, opened their season by winning 15 in a row before suffering their first setback of the 2012-13 campaign, a 5-4 decision to 15th-ranked Bates at home. Navy has also dropped tough decisions to eighth-ranked Dartmouth, 6-3, and 14th-ranked Penn, 8-1. Prior to the holiday break, Navy dealt No. 24 Drexel a 7-2 loss on its home court in Philly.
Freshmen Mitch Bottini (New Hamburg, N.Y.) and Bill Kacergis (Malvern, Pa.) have already eclipsed the 20-win mark with Bottini, primarily the Mids’ No. 9 player, boasting a 21-1 record while Kacergis stands 20-2 seeing the bulk of his time at the No. 7 slot.
Hunter Bouchard (Greenville, Del.) has enjoyed about as successful a senior campaign as one could ask for with a 19-1 record playing mostly at the No. 4 and 5 spots. Meanwhile sophomore Jim Kacergis (Malvern, Pa.) and Andrew McGuinness (Merion Station, Pa.) have shared the No. 1 and 2 positions on the ladder. Kacergis, who is 16-5 on the year and is the older brother of Bill Kacergis, amassed a 14-1 record at the No. 1 spot before moving to the No. 2 position. Meanwhile, McGuinness owns a 19-3 mark on the year, including a 15-0 mark at No. 2 before pushing up to the Mids’ top player.
The Mids are just 1-5 against the Mustangs all-time, capturing their first win over Western Ontario a year ago in Geneva, N.Y. Playing the even matches first, the match was all square through four. Bouchard set the tone early for the Mids, as he scored a 3-1 victory over the Mustangs’ Adrian Ostbye after falling behind early. Bouchard dropped the opening game, 12-10, but bounced Ostbye easily in the second, 11-1. Bouchard secured the match by scoring back-to-back 11-8 wins.
Hunter Beck (Lafayette Hill, Pa.) pitched in an 11-8, 11-9, 12-10 win over Eric Mercer to give the Mids two wins going into the turn with five remaining matches.
Navy dropped each of its top three slots, but the bottom half of the lineup came through for the team. John Richey (West Harford, Conn.) overpowered Western Ontario’s Brett Hill at the No. 7 position, 11-7, 11-0, 11-2, while David Koenig filled in and came up with a solid 11-8, 11-4, 11-5 win over Eric Mercer at No. 9.
Perhaps the biggest match of the day, however, came at the No. 5 spot with then Navy freshman Colin Barry (St. Louis, Mo.) facing Western Ontario rookie Kale Wilson. Barry took an early advantage with a hard-fought 13-11 win in game one, followed by an 11-7 victory in the second. Wilson, however, rallied to tie the match at 2-2 by taking games three and four, 11-7 and 11-5, respectively. Wilson looked to have the match all but won in the fifth, holding a 10-7 lead. Barry kept his composure and scored a huge game five win, 13-11, to take the 3-2 win for the Mids.
After dropping its opening bout of the year, a 6-3 decision to top-five Cornell, Western Ontario has won six in a row: 9-0 vs. Stanford, 7-2 vs. Williams, 7-0 vs. McGill, 7-0 vs. Toronto, 7-0 vs. Queens and 7-0 vs. Concordia.
### Go Navy ###