February 23, 2006

Squash Faces Ranked Foe

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The Cornell women’s squash team’s season will culminate this weekend in the College Squash Association championships in Cambridge, M.A.. The Red has a chance to finish its season with a winning record in addition to maintaining its No. 9 national ranking. The 4-6 squad will be competing as the top seed in the B division and will play for the Kurtz Cup, which coach Julie Devoy “expects to win.”

Cornell will face eighth seeded Middlebury (9-6) in today’s match up. Though the teams have never met, Devoy expects Cornell to pull through.

“On paper, it should be a comfortable win,” Devoy said.

Should the Red compete as well as Devoy expects, Cornell will face the winner of the match between Colby and Connecticut College in Friday’s second round. Cornell has not matched up against either of its potential second round opponents this season, but Devoy is confident of another win in this round as well.

“Though, we certainly won’t take either lightly, anything can happen,” she said.

Should the team advance to the finals Cornell will probably meet Bates or Bowdoin, according to Devoy, though she expects to see second seeded Bates. Bates will be a more familiar, yet much more difficult opponent. Cornell beat Bates 7-2 early in the season way back in December, but much has changed since that time.

“We have one girl abroad, a couple of girls sick, but hopefully we’ll get back on track and beat them again,” Devoy said.

No. 1 Cornell player freshman Maxi Prinsen is among the players who are under the weather, and her health poses the biggest concern for Coach Devoy. Should she not be able to participate, rookie Lauren Clarke will replace her in the lineup. In addition to health issues, Devoy thinks that her competition is going to play much harder than it might have normally.

“Bates will be out for revenge this time around, so we definitely can’t afford to take them likely,” she said.

Regardless, Devoy expects her second through seventh players – freshman Alex Cornett, senior Cory Warfield, sophomore Mairin Barnes, senior Allison Laycob, junior Jamie Singer and first-year Alix Watson, respectively – to pick up wins as consistently as they did in the two team’s last matchup. Devoy says that her No. 8 and No. 9 players, seniors Stephanie Tsay and Meghan McCarthy, have improved a great deal since their losses against Bates, and have a chance to contribute.

The tournament will be the last team event for the team’s four seniors – Kathryn Hessenthaler, Laycob, Tsay, and Warfield – and Devoy hopes to send them off with the Kurtz Cup. Devoy also hopes a good performance will build momentum going into next season so that the Red will be able to compete with the likes of Brown and Williams, who beat Cornell earlier in the season to prevent the Red from entering the tournament’s A bracket.

The Red returns its top-2 players next season and has commitments from four high school seniors.

“[They are] good players, good enough to be able to challenge Brown and Williams,” Devoy said.

Archived article by Mike Brennan
Sun Contributor