2019-20 Season Preview
HAVERFORD, Pa. - With the 2019-20 season rapidly approaching, the Haverford men's squash captains made their goals clear in a preseason interview: Building on last year's performance at the CSA Team Championships while helping to develop a strong team culture on a youthful squad that includes a mixture of newcomers and a handful of seasoned returners. Head Coach Niki Clement's squad is committed to an "all-in" culture, both on and off the court as the season begins in earnest this week.
Last year, Haverford finished the season with the No. 30 overall ranking in the College Squash Association year-end rankings, with a sixth-place showing at the Conroy Cup (D Division). The Fords made historic strides during the 2018-19 campaign, tying for the second-most wins in program history (13), while also posting the least losses in the history of the squad (four). Haverford also reached 10 wins for the fourth time in the last five seasons. Juniors Davis Chase and Fitz Dougherty step into the captaincy for 2019-20, along with senior Tate Miller, as the three players make up a formidable leadership group for Haverford. Miller, who set the program single-season record for wins and winning percentage a season ago, is the sole senior on a young team that will need to rely on daily contributions from every single spot on the lineup.
Dougherty, a product of nearby Shipley School, was an Philadelphia Inquirer Academic All-Area selection a season ago, and currently holds the Haverford career winning percentage record (27-6, .818), going an unblemished 7-0 at the third flight last year. Chase, of Pomfret, Conn., represented Haverford at the CSA Individual Championships a season ago, compiling a 13-6 record at the top flight for the Fords after beginning the season on a seven-match winning streak.
Miller, a native of Philadelphia, has the unique opportunity to battle for the career singles wins mark at Haverford, as the new school record has been established by seniors Yash Singh '19 and Peter Dudley '18 in each of the last two campaigns. Miller ended his junior campaign with 34 career victories. Keil Reedich (Reisterstown, Md.) and Aaron Witkin (Bethesda, Md.) also return for their sophomore seasons after establishing themselves as stalwarts in the Haverford lineup a season ago. Reedich notched an impressive 13-4 mark, appearing mostly at the fourth spot on the ladder, while Witkin compiled a solid 9-7 record appearing at the eighth and ninth flights.
First-years John Collins (Buffalo, N.Y.), Quinton Crawford (Boston, Mass.), Khalil Walker (Brooklyn, N.Y.), and Nathan Wang (Taipei, Taiwan) all join the team for the 2019-20 campaign, looking to make an immediate impact during their first seasons on campus.
The journey to the CSA Championships will begin on October 31, as the squad welcomes Swarthmore to the GIAC Squash Courts. The Fords annual lid-lifter with the Garnet serves as a prelude to a challenging slate that will see Haverford immediately thrust into some top-level competition in the season's infancy. Haverford's early season schedule includes matchups with two top 20 teams from a season ago, No. 16 Navy (Nov. 9) and No. 11 St. Lawrence (Dec. 7). The St. Lawrence matchup will be hosted at home, as the Saints come to Haverford for a 6 p.m. start on the second saturday of December. The Fords last squared off with St. Lawrence in 2004, and the two sides haven't squared off in Haverford since 2001.
A home contest with postseason foe Wesleyan opens the 2020 portion of the slate (Jan. 17), while the Fords then head to consecutive weekend battles at Fordham (Jan. 18) and the Pioneer Valley Invitational (Jan. 25-26) before a four-match home-stand against Richmond, Vassar, Denison, and Bucknell (Feb. 1 and Feb. 8). The second annual Centennial Conference Round Robin then ends the regular-season slate at Dickinson, before CSA Team Championships in Cambridge, Mass (Feb. 28-29 and March 1). The focus remains on making a splash during that Leap Day weekend in Massachusetts, but the squad knows what it will take a day-in, day-out dedication in the next four-plus months to achieve that goal.