AMHERST, Mass. - The Haverford College men's squash team kicked off the weekend battling host No. 23 Amherst College in the opener of the Pioneer Valley Invitational, but the Lord Jeffs were able to take a 9-0 victory against the 42nd-ranked Fords.
The strongest outing for Haverford (3-2) came at No. 5 where the Fords' Nathan Vestrich-Shade pushed his Amherst (4-6) opponent, Jake Albert, to the limit before falling 3-2 to the Lord Jeff. Vestrich-Shade snared the first game with an 11-9 victory but Albert answered in game two with an 11-2 win. Vestrich-Shade broke back in front with an 11-8 game three victory setting up the longest game of the day. The pair went well beyond the 11-point mark as Albert outlasted Vestrich-Shade, 18-16, in the penultimate game to knot things up once again. The match finally closed out with Albert sneaking past Vestrich-Shade in the fifth set, 11-9.
Haverford's Laurenson Ward fought back from a 2-0 deficit in his match at No. 6 against Rodrigo Miranda, as Ward halved the lead winning the third game, 11-6. Miranda, though, came back with a game-four win for the match victory.
Mirrored Ward, the Fords' Charlie Michele came back from his own 2-0 deficit with an 11-9 win in the fourth game at No. 4, but Amherst's Steve Cacouris stole the final game with a narrow 11-8 triumph.
The Invitational weekend continues for Haverford on Saturday when the Fords open the day at 9 a.m. against Northeastern University followed by a 1:30 p.m. match against Wesleyan University.