UR Men’s Squash claimed their second consecutive Liberty League Championship on Sunday, Feb 9.
The championship tournament is a gauntlet: Each school plays four team matches over the course of two days. Despite the intensity of the tournament, the ‘Jackets won handily, and only one player lost an individual match throughout the weekend.
The ‘Jackets are ranked fifth in the nation, considerably higher than the other Liberty League teams.
“Historically the competition at Liberty League has often come in the form of St. Lawrence,” Junior first-seed Ashley Davies said. “However, their program has taken a turn for the worse and in turn handed us complete dominance of the league.”
St. Lawrence University’s squash team was ranked third at the end of the 2016-2017 season, but is currently ranked 29th.
Last year marked an end to a five-year streak of Liberty League championships for St. Lawrence, but the ‘Jackets now have an opportunity to build a similar streak of victories as they close the year with only two graduating seniors.
Promising first-years Abdelrahman Lasheen and Emilio Carro each put up strong records in their first seasons of collegiate squash. Lasheen in particular shows significant skill, losing only four matches in the season, and one of those losses came at the end of a five-game battle decided by only two points against Trinity College’s fourth seed.
The league championship is a considerable victory for the team, but they already have their sights set on the national tournament at the end of the month.
“Our main aim is to try and strive for a top three finish at nationals.” Davies said. Last year the team fell to the University of Pennsylvania in their final match, resulting in a fourth place finish.
Following this, the individual tournament will take place in March. This will serve as an opportunity for returning players to improve on their past performances and for young players to prove themselves outside of team competition.
The team followed their league championship with two more matches this weekend to close out the regular season. A loss to rank-four Princeton University on Saturday was swiftly followed by a win against George Washington University on Sunday to close the regular season. Following their victory, the team will have a week to prepare for the national championship tournament in Boston, where they will try to replicate their Liberty League success on the national level.