This 'racquet' they call the Purple Pipe

Men and women's squash teams grab this week's honours

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Purple Pipe: Greg Hutner, Chris Hanebury, Iain Crozier and Heather Lamb

Joyce Wang

IS "SQUASHING THE COMPETITION" TOO UNORIGINAL? Western's squash teams' prowess is intact after they swept the OUAs this past weekend. The men have won 24 straight titles. Pictured from left: Greg Hutner, Chris Hanebury, Iain Crozier and Heather Lamb.

This week’s Purple Pipe lands in the capable hands of the men’s and women’s squash teams. Both squads did Western proud this past weekend at the Ontario University Athletics championships; the women won top honours for the second straight year and the men secured an unbelievable 24th consecutive title.

Gazette Sports met with several team members; captains Iain Crozier and Greg Hutner and stud contributor Chris Hanebury spoke for the men’s team while co-captain Heather Lamb and standout Ashley Knight represented the women.

The team discussed chemistry, “Banana Phone” and the prestige of winning for nearly a quarter-century.

What did it take for each team to bring home gold?
CROZIER: Our team is pretty deep, so in the OUAs it’s pretty...I don’t want to say easy. It’s a little lopsided. You should probably ask [the women], because they had a battle. We had a walkover.
HUTNER: I think more with the girls than it was with us, they wanted to win so badly. I saw a couple of the matches in there that were just dogfights.
LAMB: It took every girl going at 100 per cent to get to the final. Even just making it to the finals was a battle, and then the final itself was tough.

The men have won 24 consecutive championships. How long will their streak continue?
LAMB & KNIGHT: [Laughing] Oh, forever.

What’s the most embarrassing song on your iTunes?
HANEBURY: Probably something by Weird Al.
CROZIER: Probably some of this guy’s shit [points to Hutner].
HUTNER: Madonna?
LAMB: Our team song is “Banana Phone.”
KNIGHT: [Laughs] So, “Banana Phone.”

If you had to be stuck on a desert island with one teammate, whom would you choose?
HANEBURY: It doesn’t have to be a guy, does it?
LAMB: I’ll go with Val [Grimba], my roommate.
KNIGHT: I’m going with Lauren [Grimaldi], my crazy aunt.

What role does chemistry play in an individual sport like squash?
HANEBURY: I think it makes a big difference when the matches are tight, because you can rely on your people from coaching more, but I think for the OUAs it’s maybe not as important as when we play in the U.S.
CROZIER: It’s good to have your team out at the back of the court rooting for you. It pumps you up and makes you push harder.
HUTNER: I think it makes a big difference. If people on the team are happy and satisfied with what’s going on, they can rely on each other for a good atmosphere when they’re playing. When you’re on the court, I think it’s still an individual mentality.
LAMB: I’ve been playing squash for a long time, and I’ve never felt as much support as I have during my match in the final.
KNIGHT: Watching the girls play " the team getting along and working together cohesively at practices and tournaments " has been the biggest part for us to be able to come back and do well this year.

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