With two consecutive wins this weekend, the UR men’s squash team is positioning themselves nicely for the road to the playoffs.
‘It was basically the last test before the nationals and we came through with two convincing wins this weekend,” junior Hameed Ahmed said. ‘The team played smart and patient squash in both matches and no one got frustrated, although many matches went to four or five games.”
UR dominated the competition with an 8-1 victory over 12th-ranked Franklin ‘ Marshall College on Friday and a 7-2 win against sixth-ranked Cornell University on Sunday.
‘We made ourselves tough to beat and that’s essential in squash,” Ahmed said. ‘This is something that we have been working on for the entire season, and it’s great that right before Nationals it’s starting to show.”
With the College Squash Association’s Team National Championships on Feb. 19, the men’s team looks to secure the third seed behind Trinity College (Conn.) and Yale University.
The top eight teams in the country make it into the Potter Cup of the CSA Championships with the third seed playing the sixth.
If the rankings hold until the CSA Championships, UR will have a rematch with Cornell.
‘Cornell will be a little stronger since they were missing a couple of players this past weekend, so we can’t take them lightly at all,” head coach Martin Heath said. ‘If we lose the tough matches, we will most likely lose.”
The men will look to a strong core at Nationals senior Jim Browtow, juniors Will Newnham and Ahmed, sophomores Beni Fischer, Matt Domenick and Joe Chapman and freshman Andres Duany, all of whom turned in strong performances.
Hopes are high for CSA given the success that the team has had this season.
‘The team has had a pretty solid season so far, with only one relatively disappointing performance against Yale,” Heath said. ‘The guys are winning their tough matches against Princeton [University], Harvard [University] and Cornell, our closest challengers, so I could say this is our best season so far given these victories.”
With a quick win over Hobart College on Wednesday, 9-0, UR’s next stop is nationals.
Manrique is a member of the class of 2012.