November 18, 2005

Squash Set to Open Season With Three Home Matches

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With both coming off of the Ivy Scrimmages last weekend, the men’s and women’s squash teams will look to start off their regular seasons on a positive note this weekend.

After a successful season in which it went 9-7 and finished ranked No. 6 nationally, the men’s squash team hopes to continue its winning ways. In its exhibition matches, the Red went 2-1, including a 7-1 crushing of Dartmouth, another easy win over a mixed squad, and a nail-biting 5-4 loss to Penn.

“The loss was a little disappointing, but it was a close result,” said head coach Mark Devoy. “We were quite happy with the win against Dartmouth. They’ve been one of our old foes, so we were happy with that. This weekend was a good indicator and a good gauge of how we and other teams stand.”

Cornell will begin its regular season at home against Ivy rivals Penn and Princeton, and another match against its rivals from north of the border, Western Ontario. Devoy is hoping for some solid results against the tough competition.

“This should be an interesting weekend. Princeton has three international recruits, and they are a contender to win the national title,” Devoy said. “We beat them last year, but with their new lineup, they will be tough. Western Ontario is always very strong, but we are looking to pick up two of three wins.”

Devoy knows his team is talented, but stressed that concentration could be the difference between victory and defeat.

“We need to concentrate on keeping our guys on court, he said. “We tend to drop off, but we have to focus on competing for every point and for every game. Make the other team win the points, don’t give them away.”

Seniors William Cheng and Matt Serediak, second-team All-America selections last season, will lead the Red into battle. With an experienced team, Devoy is hopeful the Red can get off to a good start.

As for its female counterparts, the Ivy scrimmages were a landmark occasion. The women’s squash team went 1-2, and in doing so captured their first win against an Ivy opponent in over four years with a win over Brown. For new head coach Julee Devoy and the seniors, the win was especially gratifying.

“It was Cornell’s first Ivy win in four years, which is huge,” Devoy said. “The seniors and I were especially thrilled about it. We just managed to take it. Their games are improving, and are certainly working hard.”

In the match against Brown, the Red was able to comeback from a 4-2 deficit to win 5-4. Seniors Cory Warfield and Stephanie Tsay, along with the freshmen trio of Maxi Prinsen, Alex Cornett and Alix Watson contributed wins for the Red.

“The win against Brown was the best we’ve done as a team since I’ve been here, so it was a really big achievement,” Warfield said.

In their other two matches, the Red was swept 9-0 by Harvard and Dartmouth. This weekend, the Red will host Penn and Princeton. Heading into the regular season, Devoy admits the Red still has work to do to catch up to the competition.

“Penn had a really big recruiting year, and has strengthened their team considerably. They could even pose a problem for Princeton, who is traditionally better. We will likely be struggling, and might not win any matches, but I am certainly hoping that our top girls can have good games, and grab some sets,” Devoy said.

Archived article by Jeremy Drucker
Sun Staff Writer