The 2002-03 collegiate squash season officially came to a close this past weekend with the Intercollegiate Individual National Squash Tournament. Contested at Trinity University in Hartford, CT, the tourney drew the top men’s and women’s squash players from around the country. Five Cornellians saw action this weekend, all of them underclassmen — sophomores Brooke Stetson and Mike Delany and freshmen Cory Warfield, Ben Bernstein, and Matt Serediak.
“We didn’t capture any titles this year, but the Cornell men and women were definitely players to be feared,” said head coach Scott Stoneburgh. “The fact that there were three freshmen and two sophomores [sent by Cornell] gives you an idea of where these teams are heading.”
Both Warfield and Stetson were wild-card entries in the Holleran Cup, the women’s “B” draw. Stetson managed a 2-2 record during the tournament, facing a tough draw including the No. 1 players from St. Lawrence University and Smith College. Warfield also had a tough road, losing a close five-game match in the first round to an opponent from Brown. In the consolation bracket, she was able to defeat a player from Franklin & Marshall College, but was defeated in four games by a Penn opponent.
“I wasn’t really happy with the way I played,” said Warfield. “I hadn’t played a competitive match in two weeks, so I was rusty.”
“Both ladies gained valuable experience against top opponents,” said Stoneburgh. “This will certainly help the Big Red next season.”
In the men’s draw, Serediak was ranked No. 8 in the top half (Pool Division) and easily defeated his first round opponent. In the second round, he renewed his season-long rivalry with Rich Repetto of Penn. Although Serediak defeated him last weekend at the National Team Tournament, Repetto got the best of him in this match.
“Of course, I’m disappointed with the outcome,” said Serediak. “I beat him last week in five games, but he just didn’t make any errors this time. He took me in three straight games; I was flat.”
Bernstein and Delany were entered in the bottom half of the men’s draw, the Malloy Division. A dark horse coming into the tournament, Delany showed his talent with a victory over the No. 3 player from Williams College, but then lost two tight matches — a four game tilt with a tough Princeton opponent and a consolation match against the Stanford No. 1.
“More than one coach made the comment to me over the weekend that Mike was the most improved player in the entire league,” he said.
Bernstein, the No. 1 ranked player in the bracket, rolled to the semi-finals with easy victories over opponents from Tufts and Denison, as well as a tenacious five game victory over a Princeton foe.
Unfortunately for Bernstein, the ferocity of the Princeton match came back to haunt him in the semis against the Hobart No. 1.
“I was pretty cooked after that match; my body isn’t used to playing tournaments, where you play several matches on the same day. I just didn’t have anything left,” he said.
All Cornell participants viewed the tournament as a success. Both young teams gained an enormous amount of experience this season; good things are expected in the future.
“Cornell squash is on the climb,” said Stoneburgh. “Next year is going to be exciting.”
Archived article by Per Ostman