Both the men’s and women’s squash teams qualified for the top “A” draw in the College Squash Association Championships. The men’s team qualified for the Potter Cup for the first time since 2014, and the women’s team qualified for the Howe Cup for the first time since 2018.
Last year, both teams fell just short of reaching the top eight and had to compete in the “B” Draw of the CSA Championships.
“We set a goal pretty much at the end of last season after narrowly missing out on the top eight… to make the top eight this year [for both teams],” said assistant coach Mark Andrew Burke.
This is the first time in his tenure with Cornell squash that both teams have made the top eight.
Burke attributes a lot of changes during the off-season to the current success for both teams. For one, they introduced new preseason tests that required the players to work even harder over the summer and off-season to prepare for the new year.
“We feel like that made a big difference because players came in fitter… and that set a good foundation for the season,” Burke said.
They also worked on creating a culture that demonstrated the winning mentality.
“We also came up with a theme for this season called ‘top-eight’ mentality…and we used that in the preseason and during the year to sort of shape the team’s culture towards making the top eight and their efforts and attitude and mindset,” Burke said.
The No. 8 men’s team was able to clinch its berth into the top draw after a commanding 8-1 win over Columbia on Feb. 4 on Senior Day. The Red only narrowly beat the Lions last year, making them unable to qualify for the top eight.
The No. 6 women’s team competed in the Howe Cup last weekend and fell to No. 3 Princeton in the quarterfinals, 6-3. After losing, the Red entered into the consolation bracket and fell to No. 7 Columbia and No. 8 Yale.
Looking ahead, the men’s team will be competing in the CSA Team Championships this weekend in Hartford, CT from Friday to Sunday. Cornell will face Harvard first on Friday at 12:30 p.m.
The CSA Individual Championships will also be held March 3-5. So far, junior Veer Chotrani, sophomore Arnaav Sareen, sophomore Aaron Liang, and junior Spencer Yager will be competing on the men’s side. Senior Sivasangari Subramaniam, junior Wen Li Lai and freshman Aishwarya Khubchandani will be competing on the women’s side. More players may compete for the Red, depending on how many qualify. Subramaniam, the reigning national champion, is looking to defend her title in her final season with Cornell.