Thursday, February 22, 2018

Trinity squash teams gear up for successful seasons

As the fall sports season comes to a close, the winter brings upon a tremendous force, Trinity College Squash. Both the men and women’s teams will begin their seasons anew starting this December, and both are hoping to dominate the NESCAC and beyond.

The men’s team is looking for yet another repeat as they come off of a fantastic 2014-2015 season. The men last year with an almost perfect record of 20-1 and stayed undefeated at home. They won the NESCAC Championship for the 9th consecutive time, and they also won their 15th College Squash Association (CSA) National Team Championship title. The men have won the CSA title a total of 15 times in the last 18 years. The team won the Potter Trophy last season with decisive victories over Pennsylvania, Cornell, and St. Lawrence, all of which they beat with a score of 7-2 or better. Needless to say, the men look to repeat these tremendous feats in 2016. With the added benefit of hosting the NESCAC Championship at home, there is plenty on the line for this amazing team.

After losing their top two players from last season and four from their top-nine, the men look to revamp their roster in 2016. Rick Penders ’18 looks to take over the top spot and Michael Craig ’19 is poised to play a prominent role in the top of the lineup, as well as a host of other talented freshmen. Co-captains Juan Camilo Vargas and Afeeq Ismail return to the top-nine, and there will be intense competition to round out the lineup. The men’s first match is Dec. 5 at Bates College and their first home match is against Dartmouth on Dec. 7.

The women are also looking to achieve victory. Last season they won the NESCAC Championship for the 9th straight time and were also runner-ups in the CSA Howe cup. The women finished the regular season at 17-2, clinching the NESCAC Championship. At the Howe Cup, the Bantams beat Cornell and Penn to advance to their third straight Championship Finals, which they ultimately lost to Harvard. The women will also be hosting the NESCAC Championships at home, giving them the chance to achieve the NESCAC crown once again.

They are led by captains Kanzy El-Defrawy ’16, who is the number one ranked player in the entire country, and Sachika Balvani ’16. Anna Kimberly ’17 and Raneem Sharaf ’19 return to the top of the Bantam lineup, while Alexia Echevarria ’17 and Katiria Sanchez ’16 look to earn their spots in the top-nine. The women’s first match is this Sunday, Nov. 22, against Stanford at Harvard, and their first home match is Dec. 7 against Dartmouth.

Both teams will be headed by coaches of high pedigree. The men will be coached by Trinity mainstay Paul Assaiante, who has recently coached the U.S. Olympic Squash teams at the Pan American Games in Toronto. Having won many accolades, Assaiante looks to lead the men to victory once more.

The Women will be coached by Wendy Bartlett, who was previously honored as the 2014-15 NESCAC Coach of the Year. Also awarded with many accolades, Bartlett looks to clinch both the NESCAC and the CSA.

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