December 1, 2011

National Contenders, Top-10 Teams Look to Climb

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Last year, Cornell squash proved itself a solid competitor among the collegiate circuit. The women are currently ranked seventh in the nation, with the men one seed higher at number six. Under head coach Julee Devoy, the women compiled a 6-7 record, while her husband, men’s head coach Mike Devoy, led his squad to a 10-6 finish.

In the first official match of the year at the Williams Round Robin, the men gave a solid performance, shutting out Williams and Middlebury, 9-0. The women fell to Stanford, 2-7, but served up 9-0 wins against Middlebury, Williams, and Mount Holyoke. The remainder of the season will bring more formidable opponents, as both teams begin battling their Ivy League foes.

Julee Devoy has high expectations regarding her team’s capabilities, due to the strength at the top of her order.

“I have three players who are each as good as each other on any given day,” she said. “They’re all very capable of beating each other and that’s an awesome situation for Cornell squash to be in.” The Red’s newest additions will play a crucial role in the lineup, with freshman Danielle Letourneau starting at number one and freshman Lindsay Seginson entering at number four. Returning players Jaime Laird, who earned the All-Ivy League award for her performance last season, and sophomore Jesse Pacheo fill the second and third spots. Also joining the Red are Rachel Au, Kathleen Donatiello, Sofia Thierry and Jacqueline Wagner.

Senior co-captain Lauren Sachvie noted that the squad hopes to “pull off some wins that we weren’t able to do last year, [especially] against teams that are ranked just above us.”

“Our goal is to aim higher,” added Devoy. “It’s very much just go out there and be very competitive. You never know what could happen.”

The men’s team, led by senior co-captains Dave Hilton and Alex Domenick, also received a bunch of talented new recruits. Combined with the strength of returning players, Mike Devoy has a newfound confidence in the depth of his lineup.

“I’ve got a very good top order this year, which helps my bottom order,” he said. “I’ve got Nick Sachvie, who was a collegiate finalist last year, and the Ivy Rookie of the Year. He’s a very solid number one, and he’s sort of borderline with [number two] Alex Domenick.”

With freshman Aditya Jagtap, a top player in India, starting at the number three spot, the Red is striving to make this year the one where it secures a higher national ranking. Joining Jagtap in the team’s quest for success are George Clarke, James Lindseth, Matthew Shang, and Ryan Todd.

“We’ve always been sort of on the bottom end of the top teams, even though talent-wise we’re somewhat comparable,” said Dome­nick. “I think our team goal this year is to break into the Top-4.”

“We’ve got a good shot at beating everyone this year, more than ever,” added Hilton. “I feel like we can compete with the Trinity, Yale, and Har­vard’s as well as anyone, so really the sky’s the limit for us this year.”said. “We also bring very different aspects of the game to the squad, and after a few more games, it is going to be a lot easier for us to ad­just.”

Original Author: Olivia Wittels