January 26, 2007

Squashers Face Two Opponents

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It has been a difficult road lately for the men’s and women’s squash teams. The men’s team (3-9, 0-4 Ivy) will look for a positive spark for its hobbled roster when it faces Ivy League opponent Dartmouth and Amherst.

“I’m having trouble just filling up all the spots in the lineup. We’re missing our one and two players and we also have many guys who are sick,” said men’s head coach Mark Devoy. “This is going to have a huge effect on our team.”

Freshmen Chris Sachvie and Steven Peever have been playing No. 1 and 2, respectively, for the Red this season, however they are out this weekend and the Red will have to find a way to adjust.

Fortunately, senior co-captain Rohit Gupta is healthy and will play No. 1 this weekend as the two freshmen recover. Gupta has proven to be a strong player all season and his experience will be crucial in leading the Red to a solid performance against Dartmouth and Amherst.

Last weekend, the Red faced two strong opponents in Yale and Williams and were unable to defeat either one. This weekend, the Red has an even tougher task with injuries plaguing the squad.

“It’s just one of those things that happens,” Devoy said. “There’s nothing you can do about it. We’re just trying to look at the positive side of everything.”

But all is not lost for the Red. The squad has played well throughout the season despite the team’s youth and numerous injuries. If players can come back going into Nationals, the team believes it will find success there.

“Nationals determine your ranking for the year,” Devoy said. “So if we can get healthy then we can definitely turn this thing around.”

The women’s team is not without its own setbacks. The Red’s No. 1, sophomore Maxi Prinsen, is still injured and will not be able to compete this weekend as the women face a strong Dartmouth (7-3) squad.

Earlier this season, the Red was without two of its strong freshman as well — Annie Ritter and Liza Stokes — but those rookies are back in the lineup.

The women’s team has played well by its own standards this season, taking a 5-4 victory over Bates, which was one of its goals on the season.

“The team’s played well so far,” said head coach Julee Devoy. “Bates was our first goal and Brown is our next.”

Finishing in the top-8 and making the NISRA National championships is a goal for the Red and if they beat Brown they will be able to qualify for the tournament. However, they are going to have to face a sixth ranked Dartmouth team this weekend.

The Red knows that conditioning is a key for them in order to compete against the many strong teams of the Ivy League.

“We’re always trying to improve our fitness,” Devoy said. “Training sessions are always focused to help them stay conditioned and maintain their fitness level throughout the entire match.”

The women’s team is confident and hopes it can keep playing well this weekend.

“On paper Dartmouth is stronger,” Devoy said. “But I believe that we can definitely get a couple of the matches to go our way.”