November 8, 2011

SQUASH | Scrimmage Signals New Season

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Tired of playing one another in practice, the men’s squash team is ready to face new competition this weekend at Yale. The match is only a scrimmage and will not count towards the team’s record, but the Red is eagerly anticipating playing against an opponent wearing another uniform.

“It will be a good change of pace,” said senior co-captain Dave Hilton. “This weekend is more of a way for us to gauge how we stack up against the rest of the teams in the Ivy League. It’s a good way to see how we’re progressing.”

Due to a scheduling change, the Red is not set to play its first Ivy League match until Dec. 3 against Columbia. This weekend, according to head coach Mike DeVoy, will greatly benefit the team in terms of scouting out the competition for the second half of the season. The scrimmage will also allow DeVoy to develop a better sense of the Red’s lineup.

“It’s a good chance to have matches without some undue pressure, but it’s also for me to see, basically, what future lineups are going to look like,” he said.

DeVoy is happy with the team’s preparation thus far, and maintains confidence in the ability of the squad through early practices.

“We’ve got … good depth, which we haven’t had in past years,” he said. “The bottom order of the team is very competitive. It’s a new stage, because if I lose someone to injury, I’ve always got someone who can step up playing-wise and strength-wise — that’s always nice to have. In the past, if we lost a player, we would drop down in strength, and that’s not going to happen this year.”

Women’s head coach Julee DeVoy reiterated her husband’s words, when asked about the depth of her own squad — an advantage she believes will positively impact the women both at Yale this weekend and throughout the upcoming season.

“The top order is sold, probably the best that I’ve had in my 11 years at Cornell,” she explained. “The depth and strength of the rest of the team are all pretty much the same level. If somebody gets injured or sick we have replacements that are each as good as each other.”

Senior co-captain Lauren Sachvie agreed that the ability of the lineup is definitely a strength, particularly with the introduction of a group of talented underclassmen.

“We have six new freshmen joining us this year, and quite a few of them are in the top lineup,” she said. “I think we’re going to do really well, better than in previous years, just because we’re adding a lot of depth to our lineup that we never necessarily had in the past.”

Junior Jaime Laird — Sachvie’s co-captain — expressed her excitement at a potential rematch against Penn, an Ivy foe that shut-out the Red in the only meeting between the two squads last year, 9-0.

“We have a totally different squad,” Laird said. “We only lost one senior and we have four freshmen coming with us. It will be different this weekend and we have a chance of looking a lot better.”

Original Author: Olivia Wittels