St. Lawrence University's men's squash team dropped a tough 5-4 decision to 12th ranked Bates, but then came back with a trio of victories to go 3-1 at the Pioneer Valley Squash Invitational hosted by Smith College.
The Saints, ranked 14th nationally, beat Wesleyan 8-1, and shut out both Colby and Connecticut College in the other matches in the tournament to improve to 8-3 on the season heading into the Yale Round Robin in New Haven Saturday and Sunday. The Saints will meet 13th ranked Brown, 18th ranked Bowdoin and 23rd ranked Tufts in that tournament.
Five Saint players had perfect weekends at the Pioneer Valley Tournament as Amay Merchant went 4-0 at two, Michael Badali was 4-0 at six, Thoma Kraft was 4-0 at eight, Tyler Stout went 4-0 at nine and Russell Woeltz won all four of his matches in the exhibition slot at ten.
In the opener against Bates, Merchant won 3-1 at two, Badali 3-0 at six, Kraft 3-1 at eight and Stout 3-1 at nine. Alex Dodge lost a tough match at one, winning games one and two before Will Katz rallied for a 3-2 win. Vir Seth sustained his lone loss of the weekend in a 3-1 decision to R.J. Keating. Will Campo lost 3-1 at four, Jermaine Xaba sustained his lone loss of the weekend 3-1 at five and Nathan Ticho lost 3-0 at seven.
Dodge edged Connecticut College's Caleb Lorza 3-2 at one, winning game five 11-8 after Lorza had rallied from two down to set the stage for the weep of the Camels in match two of the weekend. Merchant, Seth, Campo, Badali, Ticho, Kraft, Stout and Woeltz all won by 3-0 scores while Xaba prevailed in a 3-2 match at five, winning games one and two by 11-6 scores before Jeremy Wong rallied with 11-9 and 11-8 wins to square the match. Xaba prevailed in the fifth game 11-5.
Wesleyan's John Steele edged Dodge 3-1 at one, but the Saints won the rest of the matches for an 8-1 win over the 22nd ranked Cardinals in match three of the weekend. Merchant went five games at two, coming back from 2-1 down with 11-7 wins in games four and five, while Seth won 3-1 at three. Campo won a see-saw match at four, 3-2 and Xaba rallied from a 0-2 deficit to win 3-2 at five with 11-9, 11-8 and 11-7 wins over Jeff Berman. Badali, Kraft, Stout and Woeltz won in straight games while Ticdho won 3-1 at seven.
The Saints completed the weekend with a sweep of 24th ranked Colby as eight of the ten matches were decided by 3-0 scores. Dodge lost game one to Harry Smith, but came back to win with 11-9, 11-5 and 12-10 game scores and Stout also won by a 3-1 count, winning games one and two before Darryl Soto took game three and Stout put the match away with a 11-0 win in game four.