With the start of the regular season a month away, squash co-captains senior Hameed Ahmed and junior Beni Fischer represented UR in the 40th annual Price-Bullington Invitational.

Fischer, who is No. 2 on the team, was ranked No. 1 in the invitational. He battled his way into the quarterfinals, where he was upset by a lower seeded opponent. Despite losing in the quarters, Fischer regained his composure and went on to win three subsequent matches. When all was said and done, he finished in fifth place overall.

“The Price-Bullington Invitational is a wonderfully organized tournament, that we always love to attend,” Fischer said. “I lost in the quarters, which was disappointing for me, as I was expected to win the tournament. However, we are still very early in the season.”

Ahmed was not as fortunate as Fischer, losing two out of his three matches in dramatic fashion. Both of his losses were five sets apiece, taking its toll. He finished the tournament in the ninth to 12th place bracket.

The Yellowjackets will be returning with virtually the same lineup as last season, with the exception of Jim Bristow 10’, who was ranked fifth in the nation individually at the end of the season by collegesquashassociation.com. With this formidable group, the squash team sees this as the year they can finally reach the finals of the Potter Cup Championships.

“If there is an overall team strategy, it’s to make them more stubborn and have the ability to soak up the pressure until the momentum shifts,” head coach Martin Heath said.

The lineup in order of rank is: sophomore Andres Duany, Fischer, Ahmed, senior Will Newnham, junior Joe Chapman, junior Adam Perkiomaki, junior Matt Domenick, sophomore Juan Pablo Gaviria, sophomore Oscar Lopez and freshman Karm Kumar.

All of the individual athletes play in tournaments for their respective countries in the off seasons and come to collegiate play prepared for the season.

“None of them are part-time athletes,” Heath said. “They are all highly involved in squash, playing tournaments, sometimes representing their respective countries, and training during the summer. They have all returned very keen and fit to make a run for the National Championships. There is obviously some work to do, though their base is good.”

The level of competition has increased over the past couple of years as the top three schools Trinity College, Princeton University and Yale University, are playing at their best. Last season the men finished at No. 4 in the country and are eyeing the top dogs.

“I look forward to training hard over the next couple of weeks and making sure I’m ready for when the matches begin,” Fischer said.

Manrique is a member of

the class of 2012.

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