Mids Face George Washington in Home Finale
Jan. 14, 2014
ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- The 14th-ranked Navy squash team (9-3) will try to erase a three-game skid on Wednesday when the Midshipmen play host to No. 20 George Washington in what will be Navy's final home match of the season. With action set for 5:30 pm at the Halsey Field House International Squash Courts, Navy will recognize seniors Hunter Beck (Lafayette Hill, Pa.) and David Koenig (Cincinnati, Ohio).
Navy opened its season winning nine in a row before dropping tough matches to 14th-ranked Penn (6-3), 10th-ranked Dartmouth (5-4) and No. 1-ranked Trinity a week ago. The Mids are hoping a match against the 3-3 Colonials of George Washington will get them back on track. Navy has never lost to GW in 21 previous meetings, including 15 in Annapolis.
GW has picked up wins over Hobart (6-3), Johns Hopkins (9-0) and Georgetown (9-0), while dropping matches to Columbia (9-0), Penn (7-2) and Trinity (9-0). The Colonials are fielding an exceptionally young team with just one senior and one junior on the roster. Freshman Andres de Frutos is atop the ladder for GW where he has put together a 4-1 record, while fellow Colombian and newcomer Nicolas Valderrama is the No. 2 player with a 4-2 mark.
Navy junior Jim Kacergis (Malvern, Pa.) defeated classmate Andrew McGuinness (Merion Station, Pa.) in a pair of challenge matches over the winter break and has taken over the No. 1 position. Kacergis made his debut at the No. 1 spot last Wednesday against top-ranked and undefeated Trinity, dropping his first match of the year, 11-4, 11-5, 11-8. McGuinness, who was sidelined against Trinity, is expected to be back on the court against the Colonials. He has produced a 9-2 record and has won three straight matches. Among those wins were five-game decisions over Penn's Tyler Odell and Dartmouth's Alexander Greer.
Like Kacergis, sophomore Mitch Bottini (New Hamburg, N.Y.) suffered his first setback of the season with a 3-0 loss against his Trinity foe. He is 11-1 on the year and owns a 38-7 career record. It's the best career winning percentage by a player during the Craig Dawson era.
Brothers Hunter and Randy Beck (Lafayette Hill, Pa.) nearly pulled off upsets against Trinity, pushing their foes to five games. Hunter, who has played the majority of the season at No. 6, dropped a 7-1, 11-6, 10-12, 11-8, 11-5 match to Elroy Leong at No. 4. Meanwhile, Randy, a rookie, succumbed to Moustafa Hamada at No. 8, 11-8, 11-4, 9-11, 9-11, 11-5, at the No. 8 position. The Becks own 7-4 and 6-5 records, respectively.
The Mids will play their final seven regular-season matches on the road before traveling to Boston, Mass. to take part in the College Squash Association Team Championship Feb. 14-16.
### Go Navy ###