The squash team opens up their regular season Dec. 2 with a mix of old and new players.
Head coach Chris O’Brien will lead the team to what is hoped to be a continuation of the second half of last year’s season.
The team nearly had a successful bid at the National Intercollegiate Squash Racquet Association Team Tournament at Yale, losing to Stanford in the final round, 6-3. Last year, the team finished with an overall record of 3-12, winning against University of California-Berkeley, Hamilton College and Northwestern College.
Take Five Scholar Josh Vinocour returns to the team as the No. 1 seeded player on the team. Vinocour will try to take the place of last year’s No. 1 player, Asad Abdulla, Class of 2001.
Some players have also improved greatly over last year. Allen Fitzsim-mons returns to the team as No. 2 after playing most of last season at the No. 5 seed. Andrew Chapman has also improved and will play in the top 10 this season.
“We’ve got a pretty good depth on our team,” Vinocour said.
The team consists mainly of upperclassmen, with only one freshman present on the team.
Even more interesting, for the first time in the squash team’s history, a girl will be competing with the guys.
Karina Canadas, a Take Five Scholar and former women’s tennis player, wished to play squash last year, but felt her tennis game was being ruined by squash. Canadas decided to pursue squash after she was accepted into the Take Five program.
After competing with women’s tennis for four years, Canadas feels comfortable playing with the squash team. “Sometimes, opponents will take second glances,” Canadas said. “But I just feel like one of the guys.”
There are several key matches on the schedule this year. The Yellowjackets need a good start in order to be successful for the rest of the season. Last year, UR did not win its first game until the ninth match of the season.
“We usually have a hard schedule and play harder teams than us,” Vinocour said.
Over the course of the season, look for the Yellowjackets to play hard and fight in every match. Both Hamilton and Colgate University are teams that the Yellowjackets expect to add to their win column this season.
Cupp can be reached at email@example.com.