The fourth-ranked University of Rochester men’s squash team traveled to Philadelphia, Pa. to kick off the team’s regular season. Upon completion of its first two matches there against Drexel University and the University of Pennsylvania, the team traveled to Princeton University on Sunday.
Rochester cruised to a dominant 8-1 victory against the eighth-ranked Drexel in its opening match of the season Friday, slaying the Dragons. The team rallied behind 3-0 victory performances in individual matches from second-position junior Ryosei Kobayashi, fourth-position senior Neil Cordell, seventh-position junior Aria Fazelimanesh and ninth-position senior Meng Xiaomen. UR also captured victories from sophomores Tomotaka Endo, Micky Bertocchi and Ben Pitfield, as well as freshmen Lawrence Kuhn.
For the second match of the weekend, Rochester squash traveled all of about five minutes to compete at the University of Pennsylvania. UR did not fare as well against the seventh-ranked Quakers. The team lost a hard-fought battle 6-3, only winning at positions one, four and six. The team lost three close matches at positions five, seven and eight, which were each settled in five games. Although the result did not favor the Yellowjackets, that the backend of the lineup all had close matches is promising for the team moving forward.
After losing to the Quakers, the Yellowjackets rebounded against the tenth-ranked Princeton University. UR’s team dominated against the Tigers, mirroring its match against Drexel. The final scoreboard read 8-1, with Rochester winning. The win was highlighted with victories in all of the top seven spots on the ladder. The depth of the Yellowjackets’ bench proved too much for Princeton. Additional praise must be given to senior Neil Cordell and freshmen Lawrence Kuhn, who both went 3-0 individually over the weekend.
Rochester looks a stronger team this year compared to last. On top of returning all four All-American honorees, the team appears to have much more depth throughout the ladder. In previous years, it had seemed that Rochester didn’t have the backend skill to compete with the best squash teams in the nation. But, this does not seem to be the case this upcoming season, and it is exciting to see the potential of the team moving forward.