After both the men’s and women’s squash teams lost in the quarterfinals of the College Squash Association national team championships, both squads sought redemption as they sent athletes to the individual championships.
Senior Michele Garceau advanced to the finals in her bracket, but couldn’t knock off Trinity’s Vanessa Raj to capture the championship in Holleran South, one of the four women’s divisions, and lost in five sets. A win would have earned Garceau a spot on the CSA second team All-American list after finishing the regular season 9-8 and winning three of her four matches in the individual championships.
Garceau, seniors Charlotte Knaggs, Margaux Losty and Emma Uible and sophomore Lucy Martin also represented the women, while Jordan Brail was the lone member of the men’s team to participate.
“[Garceau] played very professionally this past weekend, and she won all of her first three matches very convincingly,” head coach David Palmer said. “The match was played on an all-glass court, which was different than any other match she played this weekend, and [Raj] took several high-risk shots throughout the match, but especially in the fifth set. So, it kind of just slipped away from her.”
Losty reached the semifinals in the Holleran East, but was bounced by Columbia junior Maddie O’Connor in a five-set match. Uible won her first match, but lost in the quarterfinals of her bracket. Knaggs and Martin were both beaten in the round of 16.
For the men, No. 1 Andy Muran, sidelined with an injury he suffered last weekend during the national team championships, was unable to partake in the individual championships.
Brail, the Red’s only player in the men’s tournament, won his first two matches in Molloy North, one of the four men’s divisions, but fell to Penn’s David Yacobucci in the final match in Brail’s illustrious Cornell career.
“[Brail] got stronger and stronger as the season progressed, and he probably played his best squash during the national team championships, and he built on that success this past weekend in the individual tournament.” Palmer said. “So, it was really nice for him to finish his college career off by getting to the semifinals and playing a very close match against a great opponent.”
Senior Ian Rothweiler applied to play in the individual championships, but was not selected to play, and ended up stuck on the waitlist for the final tournament of the season.
With the departure of so many seniors, especially from the women’s team, Palmer is excited about next year’s recruiting class, which includes seven men and three women so far. The team is still waiting to see if more athletes will come to East Hill next season via regular decision admission.
“We potentially have a top international player from Malaysia joining the group next season, but we are still awaiting her decision from the school,” Palmer said. “She is very exciting and would immediately be one of the strongest players in college squash, so she would really provide a big boost to our team. Overall, I am very optimistic for next season for both the men’s and the women’s teams.”