December 3, 2004

Squash Faces Stiff Challenges

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Coming off an historic win over Princeton, the Cornell men’s squash team (2-1, 1-1 Ivy) looks forward to a weekend which brings a pair of high-ranked opponents to the Belkin International Squash Courts.

While not exactly final exams, the Red faces the demanding test of defending its home turf against No. 5 Western Ontario and second-ranked Harvard.

“[This weekend] comes down to big matches for our guys,” said head coach Mark Devoy. “We have to do it now because we only get one shot at each of these schools.”

Cornell’s win over Princeton on Nov. 21 vaulted the Red into sixth position in the national rankings and makes today’s match against Western Ontario all the more crucial. This time around, the Red looks forward to playing its long-standing rival to solidify and improve its place in the rankings.

“[The team] is on a high right now,” Devoy said. “This will be a great opportunity to keep the momentum going.”

The Red’s match-up tomorrow with Harvard is no small obstacle either — the Crimson is fresh off a heartbreaking second place finish in last year’s national championships. The Red, lead by junior William Cheng (3-0), knows that a match’s result is not based solely on rankings and looked back on its “upset” victory over Princeton as proof.

“Princeton showed our guys what can happen when you pressure a team,” Devoy said.

“Hopefully, after [this weekend], we can send [the team] off to holiday with a good frame of mind.”

The women (1-2, 0-2 Ivy) play a similarly tough Harvard team this weekend, as well as lower-ranked Colgate. While the Red is coming off two straight 9-0 losses, the team has not been discouraged.

“We’ve worked really hard this week,” said head coach Julee Devoy. “The girls have taken the challenge to put in more [work] and have given 110 percent.”

The Red’s first task of the week will be a match-up early tomorrow morning against fourth-ranked Harvard.

“Harvard has one of the strongest line-ups in the league,” Devoy said. “We just need to be positive and get all we can from the match.”

As if the Crimson will not provide an arduous enough test, the Red is slated to face Colgate tomorrow afternoon.

“This match should provide us with a chance to display improved tactical strength and fitness,” Devoy said. “I know we have this potential, and this match will be a great chance to turn things around.”

Archived article by Matt Gorman
Sun Staff Writer