November 7, 2003

Men's Squash Opens Season at Ivy League Scrimmages

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The Ivy League has traditionally been home to some of the strongest men’s squash teams in the country. But for years, Cornell wasn’t among one of those powers, languishing behind its Ancient Eight brethren. That trend ended last season, however, as the Red finished fifth in the nation. This season, the squashers are looking for even more, and begin that journey this weekend at the Ivy Scrimmages in New Haven, Conn.

With just seven teams entered in this year’s competition, the Red’s opponents have been pre-determined. Cornell is slated to square off against Brown and Dartmouth tomorrow before playing No. 3 Yale on Sunday.

“It’s a funny setup because Columbia is not bringing a team,” Cornell head coach Scott Stoneburgh said. “It’s kind of like a haphazard format. They kind of pull teams out of the hat.”

The No. 5 Red will bring a talented, deep lineup to the scrimmages, including All-Ivy first-team selection sophomore Matt Serediak. The squashers, however, will be missing his classmate, second-flight player William Cheng, who is on leave from the team for personal reasons.

“It’s going to be a pretty exciting because we’ve got a lot of new players,” Stoneburgh said. “We’re also returning our top bunch from last year.”

Tomorrow’s opponents, Brown and Dartmouth, aren’t expected to give the Red much of a fight. Last season, Cornell blanked the Bears by a 9-0 score, and defeated the Green in a dominating 7-2 effort.

“I think we’re going to give a beating to Brown and Dartmouth even with one of our players out of the lineup,” Stoneburgh said.

Sunday’s opponent, Yale, figures to pose a much more daunting task. However, the Red is confident in its ability to compete against the third best team in the country.

“Against Yale, we’ve got a great shot. We’ve got a solid shot against them,” Stoneburgh said. “They’re really deep but our team keep getting better every year, and our guys are getting more experience.”

In the larger scheme of things, the scrimmage is merely a stepping-stone for the Red before it begins Ivy play with matches against Penn and Princeton in two weeks.

“Scrimmages are scrimmages. It’s really to get the year started and to get the experience,” Stoneburgh said. “We just need to get as much tough match play in so that guys are seeing what the competition is like and raise their game.”

Archived article by Alex Ip