August 24, 2009

Men’s Squash Receives Barnaby Award at Banquet

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For the third time since 1988, the men’s squash team was presented with the Barnaby Award at the National Team Championships banquet. The award, named for Hall of Fame Harvard squash coach Jack Barnaby, recognizes the team that has improved the most over the previous season.
Under head coach Mark Devoy, the Red put together a 13-5 overall record (4-2 Ivy) in 2008-09 and soundly defeated Dartmouth, 7-2, at the CSA National Championships en route to finishing sixth in the country. Cornell competed in the Potter Cup “A” division against regional powerhouses like Trinity, Princeton and Yale, to name a few.
By comparison, the Red ended the 2007-08 season with a 9-8 record and No. 11 ranking, after competing in the Hoehn Cup “B” division of the team championships. [img_assist|nid=37602|title=What’s all the racquet about?|desc=Sophomore Alex Domenick (pictured above in a match against Dartmouth on Jan. 24) played a key role in the squash team’s turnaround from the 2007-08 season. The Red jumped four spots in the rankings and improved its record by four wins.|link=node|align=left|width=|height=0]
The relatively young squad, which graduated only one senior in 2009, was led by junior co-captain McKay Claghorn, who had the best individual record at 16-2, and senior co-captain Chris Sachvie, whose efforts on the court earned him MVP accolades at the team’s annual end-of-the-season banquet.
Thanks to solid play from both captains as well as players like sophomores Thomas Spettigue and Alex Domenick, the Red was able to pull out wins against teams that had defeated it in 2007-08, such as Harvard and Williams. Senior Chris Vernick topped his Harvard opponent in five sets to propel the Red to its first-ever victory over the Crimson; for this clutch performance, Vernick was awarded best match of the season honors at the team banquet.
During the 2007-08 season, Cornell also suffered two losses at the hands of Bates, including one at the national team championships. In 2009, however, the Red reversed the trend –– trouncing the Bobcats by a convincing score of 9-0. In fact, seven of the team’s 13 victories last season were shutouts.
The men’s squash team opens its regular season on Nov. 20, when it hosts Western Ontario University at the Belkin International Squash Courts. The women’s team will be back in action the same day, against visiting Stanford.