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Senior Michael LeBlanc won the clincher to send Princeton to a semifinal showdown with Drexel.
Courtesy: Beverly Schaefer

Squash Upsets F&M 6-3, Advances To Face Top-Seeded Drexel Saturday

By: Princeton Athletic Communications
          Release: 02/26/2016
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The Weekend of Redemption for the Princeton men's squash team began with, well, redemption. The Tigers flipped a season-opening 5-4 loss to Franklin & Marshall into a 6-3 victory over the Diplomats to advance to the semifinals of the Hoehn Cup draw at the 2016 CSA Team Championships.

The win will send the fifth-seeded Tigers into a Saturday semifinal (2:30 pm, Courts 4-5-6) against top-seeded Drexel, which defeated Brown 9-0 in its semifinal. While the Dragons took all nine matches, four went the distance, and a fifth went four tough games, so both teams should go into the semifinal in similar shape.

For Princeton, it guarantees that the Tigers will finish the weekend with a rank above its current one, and it keeps them alive in the hunt for a third straight Hoehn Cup. While Princeton was the top seed each of the last two years, however, it's possible that it will need three straight upsets to get it done.

The first one came Friday thanks to a dominant performance in the middle and bottom of the lineup. Princeton won every match from No. 4 on down, including a thrilling clincher by senior Michael LeBlanc at No. 7. He trailed Jack McCord 1-0 and ultimately had to go five games, but LeBlanc had the late answers to clinch the team victory.

Classmate Sam Ezratty, who injured his shoulder only two weeks ago, showed grit in coming back from a 1-0 deficit at No. 9 and topping Ricardo Machado 12-10, 11-4 and 11-3 to earn his win. Sophomore Abhimanyu Shah also won at No. 6 to open a 2-1 lead, and freshman William Oon won 3-0 to open it to 3-1.

Sophomore Komron Shayegan followed with a dominant effort at No. 5 to move Princeton to a 4-2 lead, and that allowed each Princeton player in the final shift a chance to clinch the win. LeBlanc took care of business first, though junior Vivek Dinodia rallied from a 1-0 deficit to win at No. 4. Freshman Clark Doyle nearly pulled a surprise at the top of the lineup, but Cole Osborne was able to fight through to a 3-2 win.

In the first meeting this season, Drexel defeated Princeton 5-4.

PRINCETON 5, FRANKLIN & MARSHALL 4
1 - Cole Osborne (FM) d. Clark Doyle 10, (7), (6), 6, 4
2 - Sean Kenny (FM) d. Spencer Anton 7, 8, 1
3 - Pedro Almeida (FM) d. Cody Cortes 7, 8, 7
4 - Vivek Dinodia (P) d. Silvio Soom (9), 6, 4, 5
5 - Komron Shayegan (P) d. Samm Fulton 8, 8, 5
6 - Abhimanyu Shah (P) d. Karim Abd ElMawla (8), 1, 6, 9
7 - Michael LeBlanc (P) d. Jack McCord (9), 9, 6, (6), 7
8 - William Oon (P) d. Mykhailo Sorochev 9, 8, 6
9 - Sam Ezratty (P) d. Ricardo Machado (6), 10, 4, 3

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