HAVERFORD, Pa. – The Haverford College men's squash team will rely on a veteran line-up as it looks to build off of last season's success while striving for continued improvement.
The Fords closed out a tough and exciting 6-3 battle over the University of Virginia in the 2012 College Squash Associaion (CSA) Serues Cup Championship match to put an exclamation point on a year of growth. Eight players return to guide Haverford, ranked 40th in Dunlop's preason rankings, as it aims for more disciplined, patient squash this season as a whole.
Senior Andy McComas, a co-captain, enters his fourth year on the squad with high expectations. McComas closed last season on a five-match winning streak to finish 5-5 in the No. 2 spot on the ladder. Classmate Chris Tyson joins McComas at the top of the line-up. Having registered the best record on the team in each of the last two years (10-5 in 2011, 10-10 in 2012), Tyson will look to continue his reliable play.
Head coach Niki Clement, in her third year at the helm, looks forward to also seeing seniors Charlie Michele, Peter Boal and Robbie Thompson perform in their final year of competition. Clement feels the seniors deserve to have confidence after a summer of hard work.
"As a whole I think the team has come together as a cohesive group, and I do think we will see the benefits of this later in the season," commented Clement. "Because our season is so long I think we will be tested in January when we have the bulk of our season matches on the horizon. Staving off injuries, maintaining our fitness level and continuing with a clean, tight game will be very important factors contributing to our performance come February and come CSA Nationals."
The team has also been invigorated by the presence of freshmen Laurenson Ward, Nathan Vestrich-Shade and Will Greer. The freshmen will have to adjust to collegiate squash but will be counted on for solid contributions as the team looks to take continued steps forward this season.
Tough match-ups on this year's slate include Vassar College (home and away) and a re-match with UVA. "Opening with Vassar this weekend will be a good measuring stick for us to determine where we are," said Clement. "And we can only expect that UVA will be out to get us this year."
The season begins this Saturday, Nov. 10 with matches against host Vassar and Fordham University.