March 6, 2012

SQUASH | Men and Women Come Away Empty From Individual Nationals at Amherst

Print More

This weekend, Cornell squash entered four men and four women into the individual nationals held at Amherst College. Three of the men – junior Nick Sachvie, senior Thomas Spettigue and senior co-captain Alex Domenick – qualified for the Pool (A) Division. Junior Owen Butler competed in the Molloy (B) Division. The Red did not earn the individual results it was hoping for, as the men in the Pool Division all lost their first-round matches. Princeton’s Kelly Shannon upset Sachvie – last year’s second place finisher – in three games, while Spettigue fell to Trinity’s Miled Zarazua in five and Domenick to Yale’s Kenny Chan in four. Butler had a first round bye before losing to Trinity’s Moustafa O. Hamada.Domenick feels that a few demanding weeks at Cornell are partly responsible for the losses. “I think that we didn’t have super high expectations for what we were going to do,” he said. “We went into the weekend [with the mindset of] just playing and seeing what happens. Those two weeks before were … busy weeks for us – we had prelims and stuff, so we kind of went in under prepared.”Nonetheless, the co-captain was not wholly unhappy with how he and his teammates performed.“I think that … no one played really badly. I think I could have played a little bit better, but I wasn’t terribly disappointed,” Domenick said.Although this weekend did not fall in favor of the Red, he added that “this was the best team that I’ve played on in my four years here. We finished with the best ranking that Cornell ever had, so that was a testament to how hard we worked.”The women similarly saw a number of first round defeats, with freshman Danielle Letourneau, sophomore Jesse Pacheco and junior co-captain Jamie Laird all falling in the Ramsey (A) Division. In the Holleran (B) Division, freshman Rachel Au won her first match, lost her second, and made it to the finals of the second round consolation before losing in four.According to head coach Julee Devoy, the talent within the college squash circuit played a large role in the weekend’s results.“Often when you see [the women] not winning, you think they didn’t play well,” she said. “I feel that the depth of the women’s collegiate players has definitely improved. There are a lot of players that are very, very close to each other and anyone can win on any given day.”Devoy emphasized that in spite of the losses, this weekend served as a testament to the skills of her players.“[Jesse Pacheco’s] first round match was the best match I have ever seen [her] play,” Devoy said. “I’ve always known what Jesse’s capable of playing and I think she proved to herself in that match that she’s as good as these girls and right there with them. I can tell you [the loss] wasn’t for lack of trying or for putting her best game out there, because man did she do that.”Devoy also had high praise for the two freshmen that qualified for the tournament.“[Freshmen] have got a lot to learn in their first season,” she said. “I think Rachel [Au] gained a lot of confidence, and has realized that she too is very competitive with a lot of these girls. I can only see her getting stronger and stronger … Danielle [Letourneau] has had a great season and she’s definitely competitive with all those players. She clearly loves the game and is always trying to do her best.”“It was good to get Danielle and Rachel out there,” added Laird. “Rachel had a really good tournament – she was in all the way through Sunday, so we were happy with that.”Despite feeling like she did not play her personal best, Laird echoed Domenick’s pride in the results of Cornell squash this season.“We improved our national ranking, which is always a goal for us,” Laird said. “It wasn’t my best performance at the individuals, but … it was a really great season, for both guys and girls.”

Original Author: Olivia Wittels