After barnstorming through Canada over Winter Break, the men’s and women’s squash teams returned to the friendly confines of the Belkin Squash Courts this past weekend. The relentless schedule pitted the Red against three national top-10 squash powers in two days, including key bouts with Ivy foes Yale and Brown.
The action began on Saturday morning with the men’s matches against the Bulldogs.
“Yale was the definite favorite, but [our] men are gaining quick respect,” said head coach Scott Stoneburgh.
The team’s newfound stature showed through as four Cornell squashers were able to avoid the shutout and extended their matches past three games. However, there was but a single Red victory by senior captain Jeff Porter. Still, despite the 8-1 loss, the Red showed improvement over last year’s match against Yale.
Aside from Porter’s triumph, the Yale match showcased a head-to-head battle between two of the best young players in North America in Yale’s freshman Julian Illingworth and Cornell’s Matt Serediak. Illingworth, the U.S. Junior National Champion, was able to get the best of Serediak, the Canadian junior champ.
“I’ve known [Julian] for four or five years and I’ve never beaten him,” said Serediak. “I knew it would be hard; he plays at such a fast pace. But it’s always fun to play the best.”
The Red was able to bounce back in the afternoon against Williams, a perennial national contender. The 9-0 sweep gave Cornell its first win against the Ephs in four years and Stoneburgh’s first as the Red coach. The youth led the way with freshman Mat