February 23, 2007

Men’s Squash Heads to NISRA Championships

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The men’s squash team will head out to New Haven, Conn., today to face Franklin and Marshall in the opening round of the NISRA National championships. The Red is coming off victories in its last four matches, including wins over No. 9 Navy and Ivy League opponent Brown.

The Red beat Franklin and Marshall, 7-2, in its first match of the season, and will look to repeat that performance to get past the first round of the tournament.

“We had a good showing earlier in the year so we’re feeling pretty confident,” said senior co-captain Ted Hill.

After a bumpy patch to start the season, the Red has reeled off its last four matches and is looking forward to a good performance to close out the season.

“We’ve come back strong after a pretty rough spot in the middle of the season,” Hill said. “Now we want to end the season on a high note.”

The Red’s goal all season has been to match its No. 9 ranking it achieved last year. After beating Navy last weekend, Cornell will have a very good chance to achieve that goal if it finishes well at the NISRA National championships.

The championships are split into the A and B divisions,where the A bracket consists of top-8 seeds and the B bracket pits the bottom eight seeds against each other.

The Red is currently ranked 11th, and a victory in the B division would help it to that No. 9 ranking.

Senior co-captains Rohit Gupta and Ted Hill have paced the team all season and expressed a desire to finish strong at the championships.

“Rohit and I are seniors, and we really want to finish off strong,” Hill said. “We are going to have some really hard matches but we are feeling really good about our chances.”

For most of the season, the Red has been plagued with injuries, but recently has gotten healthy again, with No.1 player freshman Chris Sachvie returning to the lineup.

“We had some pretty bad injuries earlier in the year but we’re a lot healthier now,” Hill said.

Sachvie came back from his injury with a clean sweep of his Navy, Hobert, Brown and Tufts opponents during the team’s win streak.

Gupta, who played No. 2 for the Red, was also victorious over all four of his opponents during that stretch.

“We are looking much better now,” Hill said. “Everybody just needs to work on keeping the intensity up during the entire match. We need to outlast our opponent.”

The Red’s No. 2 player, freshman Steve Peever, also returns this week, so the Red will have a full lineup available for its season-ending championship.