Club (Sports) or Die: Men’s Squash Team

“Most people I tell that I play squash first think about the vegetable.”

According to Georgetown Squash team member Sam Patterson (SFS ’16), even though the squash team might not be well known on campus, it’s a close group of hard-working guys who are an important part of his Georgetown community.

Squash is different from a lot of team sports, such as soccer, basketball, or football that have multiple players on the court or field. In squash, each member faces off against one opponent. However, this does not take away from the team aspect of squash.

As team member James Yacobucci (COL ’15) put it in an interview with Vox, “The team’s success is dependent on the performance of each individual. It is on your teammates to help you prepare both mentally and physically before the match starts.” Only if everyone on the team does their best will the team walk away with a victory.

This team definitely knows what it takes to win. They practice Monday through Thursday at squash courts located at 22nd and M street. The team cannot practice on the courts at Yates. As Patterson explained, “It’s six inches too narrow on both sides, and while that may not seem like a lot, it does amazing things to the angles you’re working with.”

Their coach is the ex-coach of the Egyptian national team. When they get to practice, they begin with an hour of drills. They will then play competitive matches for about 30 minutes and end with “brutal fitness.”

The team usually plays matches every other weekend, in places ranging from Charlottesville to Boston. Yacobucci explained the layout of a tournament. “They are usually in a round robin format, which means that around three or four teams show up to a venue and we all play each other. Each match is a best of 9 format, with each individual match being best of 5 games.”

Every team member is expected to put in his best effort. There are no distinctions between seniors or freshmen. As Patterson put in the interview, “If you’re on the team, you’re expected to contribute and you’re rewarded with respect and camaraderie, whether you’re 18 years old or two months away from graduating.”

This leads to a close and supportive team dynamic. They frequently gather for pitchers and sandwiches at Booeys. “We occupy five or six tables in the window, sit, eat, drink, and laugh for long periods of time. That’s the best,” Patterson described to Vox.

Their season ended really well. They entered Nationals, their final tournament as the #1 seed, and ended up losing to Denison 5-4 in the finals. Although their season has ended, make sure to be on the lookout for the team when they begin play again next year in October. Also, if you’re still pretty confused on squash can be a sport and not just a vegetable, check out this video!

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