The only two undefeated squash teams in the MIAA faced off at the Meadowmill Athletic Club on Thursday afternoon, and the Gilman Greyhounds kept their four year undefeated run in the conference in tact with a 7-0 win over Boys’ Latin, but an even larger story unfolded this day.
Gilman’s Taylor Tutrone, who has played as the top-seed for coach Boo Smith for four straight years was slotted in the No. 2 hole against the Lakers, and teammate David Hoffman, who has only lost once in four years in MIAA action as Gilman’s No. 2 seed, played in the one hole.
The switch came about when Hoffman edged Tutrone in a challenge match last week in five games, and the switch set up an epic battle between Hoffman and BL’s Mike Mutscheller, the grandson of former Baltimore Colt great Jim Mutscheller, who was in attendance to watch his talented grandson compete.
The Greyhounds had already won matches two through seven to guarantee the team win, but the large Meadowmill crowd eagerly waited the match between Hoffman and Mutscheller, and no one was disappointed.
Mutscheller took a 2-0 lead before Hoffman battled back to square the match at two, before he edged Mutscheller 12-10 in game five to take the match. The match lasted for 100 minutes, a VSN Classic.
“I came out, I was focused and I was ready to play,” said the personable Mutscheller. “I went up 2-0, and had him frustrated, but in the third game I was fatigued and I slowed down. He put me under a lot of pressure. The fifth game went back and forth. I was down 10-8, brought it back to 10 all. It was a lot of fun.”
Gilman coach Boo Smith said that David and Michael have played a lot. “Michael jumped out 2-0, and David settled down, erased some of his mistakes, and played a very steady game and came back very strong.”
Hoffman said that he gained the top spot after winning a really close match against Tutrone.
“He’s held that spot forever. I thought I’d try to give myself a chance at No. 1, and it was a really close, tight match,” said Hoffman. “We’ll probably keep flip-flopping the year at one and two.”
Hoffman said that the match with Mutscheller was one of the best he has ever played.
“It was really emotional, a lot of good crowd support. He (Mike) played really, really well, especially those first two games. He just controlled everything. I happened to get my game together in the last three games and got some lucky bounces on the last couple of points to pull it out.”
No. 1 David Hoffman (GIL) def. Mutscheller, 3-2
No. 2 Tutrone (GIL) def. Snyder, 3-0
No. 3 East (GIL) def. Ward, 3-0
No. 4 Hanley (GIL) def. Bedford, 3-0
No. 5 Dewire (GIL) def. Adams, 3-0
No. 6 Metz (GIL) def. Riordan, 3-0
No. 7 Dan Hoffman (GIL) def. Porter, 3-0