March 2, 2006

Squashers Battle for Championship Glory

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The Cornell men’s and women’s squash teams will reach the apex of their seasons today. The NISRA Individual championships will be in full swing in Amherst, Mass. starting tonight and running through Sunday.

Seniors Matt Serediak and Willie Cheng will participate in the men’s division A tournament, senior Matt Greenberg and junior Rohit Gupta will partake in the men’s division B tournament, while sophomore Mairin Barnes and freshman Alex Cornett will represent the Red in the women’s division B tournament.

Men’s head coach Mike Devoy is impressed with his players and has high hopes.

“[Serediak and Cheng] have a chance of making the All-American or All-Ivy team … The A division represents the top-32 in the nation, so just to get through the first round is an achievement,” he said. “In the B division we think we can get through at least to the quarter-finals, and we’ve got a good chance of getting into the finals.

Greenberg just missed out on the top-32, so he’s looking to succeed in the B division tournament.

For Gupta, just getting up the rankings will help him next year.”

Greenberg, a captain of the team, echoed his coach’s words.

“I was a little disappointed to not make the A division, but nonetheless, I’ll try to go out with the bang and win the B draw,” Greenberg said. “The two of us [myself and Gupta] should be in contention for winning it … we had two very close losses to Williams and Dartmouth during the season, so this will be our chance to make up for a few of those losses.”

Coming off a victory over Amherst two weekends ago to claim the Hoehn Division cup at the SCA team national championships, the Red players appear very excited to get a chance to display their individual skills and get a final look at those of other teams.

“It’s the top-64 guys, so if nothing else we’ll get to see a lot of great squash, and it’s just a dedicated group in general,” Greenberg said.

Devoy also had some encouraging words to offer about the women’s team concerning the experiences that they can gain from this tournament.

“For the girls, it gives them more experience and more competitive matches, as they are relatively new,” Devoy said. “They need to get as many competitive games and tough matches as they can.”

The women’s team, after taking two out of three matches last weekend in their team championship, also seem excited to participate and see some of the other players at the individual championship.

“I’m excited, I have no idea what to expect,” Cornett said. “I think we’ll have some pretty good matches … I don’t really know these players, so anything can happen.”

Overall it appears that it will be a busy weekend for both squads, but win or lose, they believe it should be a rewarding one.

“It’s going to be a tough time because we play a lot of matches in a short weekend,” Greenberg said. “It’s tiring, but it’s certainly a lot of fun.”

Archived article by David Sims
Sun Staff Writer