November 28, 2006

Squash Teams Look to Captains for Leadership

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This season the men’s and women’s squash captains will have to use their experience to lead their young squads successfully in the highly competitive Ivy League. Both teams have opened up their season with victories outside of the league but were unable to claim victory against their top tier Ancient Eight adversaries.

The women’s team (1-2, 0-2 Ivy) had a solid start to the season with a crushing 9-0 victory over Franklin and Marshall. The Red were not as fortunate in their next two matches as Cornell was defeated, 9-0, by both Penn and then Princeton in its opening weekend matches.

“We did really well against F&M, which is what we expected,” said junior co-captain Mairin Barnes. “Penn and Princeton are really strong so we knew that it would be tough to beat them.”

The women’s team has a young squad this year but believes that its youth will be an asset when it faces many of its difficult opponents.

Along with Barnes, another sure asset this season for the Red is senior co-captain Jamie Singer. The captains have been leaders on the squash team since they joined and are now captains of a team that believes it has the potential for a great season. At the Ivy Scrimmage, Cornell was able to defeat No. 7 Brown.

“We really think we can move up in the rankings from last season,” Barnes said. “We beat Brown in the Ivy Scrimmage, and we think we can beat them again during the season.”

Barnes has had a solid career on the squash team including playing the No. 4 position as a sophomore last season and amassing a 7-7 record, which led her to a national ranking of No. 71. Singer is another great and experienced player for the Red this season. She has a great individual record and also won the Match of the Year award.

The men were also able to start off the season strong with a 7-2 victory against Franklin and Marshall. However, the Red (1-2, 0-2) was unable to continue that success with losses to both Penn and Princeton in the next two matches.

Senior co-captain Rohit Gupta has had a stellar career while on the team. Cracking into the lineup his freshman year, Gupta has played squash all four years at Cornell and was named the Most Valuable Player of the team last season, after finishing with the team’s best individual record at 11-5. Senior co-captain Ted Hill is another highly accomplished player on the team and will use his experience to help the team’s performance this season.

Gupta and Hill will have to show their senior leadership as the Red lost numerous starters from last year’s lineup

“We have a lot of young players this season,” Gupta said. “We want to build a new team and a foundation for the next year.”

The captains will experience a plethora of new talent as many of the team’s players are new or coming off injuries last season. Junior Omar Mangalji is a returning player who was not able to get much playing time last season due to injury but this year he is fully recovered and hopes to be back to his full potential.

Down the line. Senior co-captain Rohit Gupta (above) of the men’s squash team posted the Red’s best individual record last year with a mark of 11-5. (Sun File Photo)