February 12, 2009

Squash Enters National Championships at No.6

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Having secured two Ivy League wins for the first time in head coach Julee Devoy’s tenure, the women’s squash team heads to Cambridge, Mass., this weekend hoping to make some noise at the CSA National Championships. The team’s initial seeding at the tournament was based on its record during the regular season. Thus, the Red’s 9-4 overall record has secured it a No. 6 seeding –– placing the team in the same draw as Princeton, Trinity, Penn, Harvard, Yale, Stanford and Williams. Cornell’s inclusion within the top-8 means that it will be competing in the Howe Cup A division for the first time under Devoy.
The Red will kick things off at 9:30 a.m. tomorrow, against No. 3 seeded Penn. [img_assist|nid=35033|title=Pick it up|desc=Squash heads to Cambridge, Mass. this weekend to compete in the CSA National Championship. The team is seeded sixth, and will open the tournament against No. 3 Penn tomorrow.|link=node|align=left|width=|height=0]
“That’s going to be a tough matchup,” Devoy said. “We lost to them, 7-2, in season … could have been a closer score line, but it wasn’t to be. We’re hoping to give them a run for their money and give it our best shot.”
If Cornell beats Penn in the first round, the Red would proceed through the tournament as the No. 3 seed. However, if the team loses, which, according to Devoy, is what’s supposed to happen on paper, the women will play the No. 7 seed, Stanford. The Red had a very close match against the team from California earlier this season, which Cornell came out on the winning end of, 6-3.
“[Stanford is] probably our closest rival, they have been the whole season,” Devoy said. “They’ve lost to all the teams above us, as we have; they’ve beaten all the teams below them, like we have, so we’re very neck-and-neck. If we meet in that second round, it will definitely be a very close encounter.”
The Red has put forth a dominant effort as of late and is undefeated in its last five matches, including three 9-0 shutouts of Dartmouth, Brown and William Smith. Devoy attributes the team’s convincing wins to “hard work at practice, being totally committed and then on [the given] day, getting out there and performing as a team.”
In evaluating Cornell’s goals for Nationals, Devoy said, “The biggest task is for everybody to come out at the same time, with their best game. When you’re playing an individual sport, sometimes that doesn’t always happen … but that is what we need to happen … for everyone to come out firing at the same time, in order to get the wins that are going to be tough.”