February 1, 2011

No. 5 Men’s Squash Wins Two More Over the Weekend

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The men’s and women’s squash teams finished with promising results last weekend, beating Dartmouth and Williams, but falling to top-ranked Trinity. The men’s and women’s squash teams finished with promising results last weekend, beating Dartmouth and Williams, but falling to top-ranked Trinity.

Cornell boasts the fifth ranked men’s squash team and the No. 7 women’s squad in the country.

After defeating Harvard earlier in the season, 7-2, the men’s team moved up to fifth place nationally.

“The season has been very good,” said head coach Mark DeVoy. “We beat Harvard for the second time in the school’s history. We’ve been playing squash at Cornell since 1956 and have only ever done it twice.”

The first time the men’s side beat Harvard was two years ago, yet this year’s squad feels it might be the best team Cornell squash has ever seen.

“Every year I’ve been here Cornell has gotten better and better results,” said senior co-captain Pat Brady. “We’ve moved up in the rankings every year, and Cornell squash is becoming associated [with] a real winning culture.”

This weekend’s Dartmouth game for the men’s side was crucial, as a loss could have easily derailed their season.

“We always have a strong rivalry with them, it was closely fought,” DeVoy said.

Cornell proceeded to sweep Williams the following morning, and the afternoon match against No. 1 Trinity proved to be the challenge of the weekend. Trinity hasn’t lost a match in a record 12 years.

“We were expected to beat Dartmouth … but Trinity was more exciting,” DeVoy said. “You want to see how you play against the best team in the nation and someone wants to be the team that brings them down. Even though it was a loss, it’s exciting to get close.”

Junior Thomas Spettigue hasn’t lost a match all season, which made his win against Trinity on Sunday a highlight for the Red. Freshman Bryan Keating’s comeback victory also stood out, as did sophomore Nick Sachvie’s win against Trinity’s top player.

“We had our best result that Cornell has ever had against Trinity,” said senior co-captain McKay Claghorn. “It was the last match of the weekend and all the guys really stepped up to play.”

“We had a good weekend,” Brady added. “It was hard to play [Trinity] after having played two matches that weekend … and playing the best players in the country, but we ended up giving them a bit of a run and did pull out … some close matches.”

The Red will face another important test against No. 4 Rochester, with an opportunity to claim that higher ranking on the line.

The women’s side was equally successful this weekend.

No. 8 Dartmouth provided an adequate challenge for the Red, but Cornell was able to come out on top in a close one, 5-4.

“The win over Dartmouth was critical,” said head coach Julee DeVoy.

Sophomore Jaime Laird had an extremely impressive individual match against Dartmouth, beating the Green’s top player and ultimately deciding the winner of the match.

“It was a great win for her,” DeVoy said. “It wasn’t one we were counting on winning, but she came through very convincingly. She was the hero.”

The women’s team went on to beat Williams, 9-0, on Sunday morning, but fell to No. 3 Trinity, 8-1.

Clare Berner had a great match against Trinity, defeating a higher ranked opponent. Freshman Jessenia Pacheco also provided a strong showing, playing well against her opponent — an upperclassman from Trinity — and holding the match to a very close score.

After it closes out the regular season against Brown and William Smith, the women’s team will expect to play the second seed at nationals — currently Yale.

“Our goal is to have the team regain its No. 6 ranking at the end of the year,” said junior captain Lauren Sachvie.

The team only fell to No. 7 after a heartbreaking loss to Stanford earlier in the season.

Original Author: Rebecca Velez