March 7, 2005

Squashers Earn Individual Success at CSA Champs

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Representatives from the Cornell men’s and women’s squash teams saw their last action of the year this past weekend as they competed in the CSA individual championships. While seven of the Red’s eight representatives won at least one match, the tournament was highlighted by the play of juniors William Cheng and Cory Warfield.

“We had quite a good showing this year,” said men’s coach Mark Devoy. “It’s really tough to get everyone in shape to play [potentially] five matches in a weekend, but they all handled it really well and ended up getting a lot of games in.”

The men sent five members to compete in the tournament — its top three starters to the Pool division and its No. 5 and No. 6 starters to vie for the Malloy division championship. The Red faced its stiffest competition in Pool division play as its players found themselves up against twenty-nine of the best collegiate squash players in the nation. Juniors Matt Serediak and Cheng, along with senior Mike Delany, each suffered first-round losses and were forced into play in the bracket’s consolation round. From there, Cheng made the most of his weekend by winning the rest of his matches, including a quarter-final win over his teammate Delany.

“Neither player was really looking forward to the match,” Devoy said. “[Delany] had a great win in his first consolation match so I was very pleased that he was there to play [Cheng].”

After dropping his first match to No. 14 Robert Hong from Harvard, Cheng came back with a decisive three set victory over Yale’s Trevor Rees. Cheng’s win set him up for a show-down with Delany, who had bounced back from his first round loss with an upset victory in his first match in the consolation bracket. The match went much as Cheng’s previous match and Cheng emerged as a three-set victor. In the bracket’s semi-final match, Cheng was forced to the wire by Bates’ Ricky Weisskopff. Weisskopff took the third and fourth set, only to drop the fifth to Cheng. Playing in his fifth match in three days, Cheng emerged as the bracket’s champion with a four-set victory.

“He has been one of our most consistent performers all year,” Devoy said. “He had a tough loss in the first round, but he found his rhythm and started playing really well.”

Also in play for the men were sophomore Rohit Gupta and junior Matt Greenberg who each won their first-round matches in the Malloy division, only to drop the subsequent match. After the loss, Gupta went on to win the second round consolation bracket — earning victories over the No.1 and No.7 seeds.

“[Gupta] has been improving all the time and it was great to get him more time on court,” Devoy said. “He is really looking forward to pushing his way up the ladder.”

The women also suffered from a lack of early round success as juniors Cory Warfield and Allison Laycob each dropped their first matches. Freshman Mairin Barnes won her first-round match against Jenny Loring from Bates, but was knocked from the tournament in the next round. While Laycob lost a tough four-set match in her final appearance, Warfield continued play in the consolation bracket with a string of victories.

“[Warfield] was a bit tired at that stage, but she still played very well and ended up very pleased,” Devoy said.

Warfield started her run with a three-set win in her first match and followed that with a four-set win in the next round. In her semi-final match, Warfield played to a grueling five set win after dropping two of the first three. In the consolation bracket final, Warfield was beaten in three sets by Kendell Andres from Denison.

The Red’s individual victories cap off a season in which both the men and women moved up in the national rankings, with the men finishing sixth and the women finishing 10th.

Archived article by Matt Gorman
Sun Staff Writer