November 8, 2002

Squasher Test Waters

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This weekend, the men’s squash team kicks off its season at the Ivy Scrimmages held at Yale University. As opposed to scrimmages in most collegiate sports, this annual tournament is highly regarded and anticipated.

“It gives us a chance to show how far we’ve come from last year, having picked up an awesome recruiting class,” said senior Tim Nagel, a returning All-Ivy and All-American selection.

While it is referred to as a scrimmage, the weekend’s events are taken quite seriously. Cornell will not be facing low-caliber teams as a warm up to the season, contrary to what one might expect. The Ivy League is the premier conference in men’s squash, so the outcome of the tournament will provide accurate foresight towards the national rankings.

The Red will get to test its mettle from the onset of the tournament tomorrow during the team match play. The top nine players on both opposing teams will square off; the team that wins five of the matches advances to the next round. Cornell, as the fifth seed, will initially face fourth-ranked Dartmouth, with top-seed Princeton likely waiting in the semifinals.

“Dartmouth beat us last year in the playoffs, so we’re definitely looking for revenge,” said Nagel. “The Princeton top five are strong with international depth, but we’re going for the upset. Nothing would make us happier.”

On Sunday, the individual section of the tournament pits the top players from each program against each other. The players are assigned to different brackets, depending on their personal rankings on their respective teams.

“The top guys all play each other in one bracket, all the middle guys play [in another], and so on,” said Nagel.

The highly touted Cornell recruiting class will be thrown into the fire of Ivy League squash immediately, filling in the top three spots for the Red.

The women’s squash team will compete in the Ivy Scrimmages next weekend.

Archived article by Per Ostman