February 7, 2005

Squash Brings Home Two Wins

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It was a jam-packed weekend for Cornell squash as both the men (6-5) and women (3-8) headed to Hartford, Conn., to play a full slate of weekend matches. The men, playing shorthanded, beat Navy 8-1 yesterday after dropping Saturday’s match against No. 1 Trinity. The women also came away with one victory, an 8-1 drubbing of Bowdoin on Saturday that served as the highlight of a weekend which also included a loss to Trinity and a narrow loss to Bates. “[The women] realized [that] they are improving,” said women’s head coach Julee Devoy. “If we had played these teams at the beginning of the year, we never would have seen these results.” In their first match of the weekend the women faced No. 2 Trinity, and although overmatched by the higher-ranked team, the Red played to a hard-fought 8-1 loss. Cornell’s lone win came from junior Allison Laycob who fought back from a two game deficit to win the match, 3-2. “It was great for [Allison] to get that win,” Devoy said. “It was her big win thus far in the season.” Cornell was forced to wait three hours to play its next match that night, yet the Red remained unfazed by the delay and handily beat Bowdoin by a count of 8-1. The Red won all matches, 3-0, with its only loss coming at the No. 1 spot.

Fighting exhaustion, the Red was forced to wake up and play an early match with Bates on Sunday morning. The Red battled to a close 5-4 loss, a testament to the team’s improved play. The four wins came from the Red’s top four spots, including a win at No. 1 by freshman Marin Barnes.

“I have never seen [Barnes] play so well,” Devoy said. “It was really a great game of squash.” Although the Red only left with one win, Devoy added that the team came away from the match feeling good about its performance, saying “the narrow loss will only be a huge boost.”

On the men’s side, Saturday also brought a showdown with higher-ranked Trinity — a match that ended in the same 9-0 count as the women. Unfortunately for the Red, it not only lost the match, but also its No. 5 starter, senior Matt Greenberg, to an ankle injury.

Already without one of its starters — junior Ben Bernstein did not make the trip because of illness — the Red went into its Sunday match with Navy with two new starters, sophomore Ted Hill and freshman Omar Mangalji, at its eight and nine spots respectively. Neither Hill nor Mangalji showed signs of inexperience, however, as Hill inexperience, however, as Hill fought to a 3-1 victory and Mangalji clawed back from a 2-0 deficit to win 3-2. All other wins for the Red came by counts of 3-0.

“It was great to get [Hill and Mangalji] in and get some match experience,” said coach Mark Devoy. “Now the only trick is keep all the guys healthy for Nationals.”

This coming week the Red can look forward to a match with Hobart and William Smith on Thursday and a final home match against Brown on Friday.

Archived article by MATT GORMAN
Sun Staff Writer