March 3, 2009

Senior Cornett Impresses at CSA Individuals Squash Tourney

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The men’s and women’s squash teams concluded their season this past weekend at the CSA Individual Championships, hosted by Williams College in Williamstown, Mass. Cornell had a total of eleven representatives — the most qualifying players the Red has had in recent history — comprising of six men and five women. The men’s team enjoyed moderate success, with four players picking up wins against some of the top squash competitors in the country. On the women’s side, senior co-captain Alex Cornett capped off her collegiate squash career with an impressive victory in the Holleran Cup’s second consolation round finals.
“The men did okay … basically as expected,” said men’s head coach Mark Devoy. “They could have done maybe a little bit better, but with the circumstances like they were, coming just after Nationals last weekend, everybody was a bit tired. They basically held their rankings. … It was a satisfactory end of the season for them.”[img_assist|nid=35715|title=Squash it|desc=Freshman Lauren Sachvie competes against Dartmouth in January. This weekend Sachvie cheered on the five Red women selected for the CSAs.|link=node|align=left|width=|height=0]
Junior co-captain Chris Sachvie kicked things off for the Red on Friday with a straight-sets win in the first round of the Potter Cup “A” division, but fell to his opponent, 3-9, 6-9, 3-9, in his next match.
“I think I played pretty well over the whole weekend,” Sachvie said. “This tournament in particular is a lot more about fitness than it is about anything else. At most weekends during the season, you might only have one or two hard matches, whereas this one, with every single player being in the top 32 rankings-wise, you never really have an easy match, so it’s a tough weekend, physically.”
His coach echoed this sentiment, “It’s nice to have that sort of gap between [Nationals and Individual Championships] for them to rest up, and it was sort of noticeable at the event that there were quite a lot of players who were still suffering from hard matches last week.”
Sophomore McKay Claghorn opened his day with a 3-1 victory (9-2, 6-9, 9-5, 9-1), but like his fellow co-captain, ultimately faltered in the second round, 3-0, in the Malloy Cup “B” division.
Also competing in the Malloy Cup, freshman Thomas Spettigue, seeded No. 1, required five sets, but eventually downed his opponent, 1-9, 9-5, 7-9, 9-1, 9-1 –– advancing him to the round of 16. Spettigue followed this win with a strong effort on Saturday in yet another match that went to five sets. The freshman managed to pull out a 9-7, 3-9, 1-9, 9-2, 9-5 victory, and thus moved on to the quarterfinals, where he came out on the losing end of a highly-contested four-setter (5-9, 8-10, 10-8, 5-9).
“[Spettigue] had some brutal matches,” Devoy said. “He played really well, and that was quite nice to see a freshman come out and perform. … I took six players, which is the largest we’ve had in Individuals, and three of them were freshmen, so it was good experience for them for next time around.”
In the consolation bracket of the Potter Cup, freshman Alex Domenick posted a 4-9, 9-4, 9-5, 9-0 win over his opponent, but was shutout in the quarterfinals, 3-0, by a score of 6-9, 1-9, 0-9.
Summarizing his team’s performance, Devoy said, “They had some good games, and they had some not-so-good games.”
On the women’s side, all five players lost their opening matches, thus granting them automatic entry into the consolation rounds.
“It was a little bit disappointing because they all lost their first round,” said women’s head coach Julee Devoy of her team’s efforts. “Three of them had a chance to win the first round, and didn’t, so that was disappointing, but overall it was a good event.”
In the Ramsay Cup “A” division, freshman Shivangi Paranjpe recorded a 3-0 win in her opening consolation round match; she would return to the courts on Saturday to secure another victory, this time in comeback fashion (1-9, 3-9, 9-5, 9-7, 9-4). Paranjpe was derailed in the semifinals, however, losing in four sets by a score of 9-3, 6-9, 2-9, 5-9.
In the Holleran Cup “B” division, Cornett rebounded from her opening-round loss and posted a 9-2, 9-7, 9-1 victory in the round of 16. She carried this momentum on into the quarterfinals, where the outgoing senior dominated her opponent in three sets (9-2, 9-2, 9-0).
For the third day in a row, Cornett was back on the courts Sunday afternoon for a semifinal matchup against Laura Robinson of Mt. Holyoke College. Cornett would mount two comebacks en route to a 2-9, 9-4, 6-9, 10-8, 9-3 marathon win. Things proved a lot tamer in the finals, as the women’s co-captain only needed three sets to dispose of her opponent, 9-3, 9-6, 9-1.
“[That first round match] was not a good match, but you play with what you’ve got at the time, and unfortunately that was not enough,” Cornett said. “But after that I was satisfied with how I did.”
In evaluating the culmination of her collegiate athletic tenure, Cornett said, “I ended my team career on a winning match, and I ended my individual career on a winning match, and that’s a nice way to be able to say that you went out.”