Men’s squash will kick off its season this weekend, facing tough competition in its hope that the 2009-2010 season will have as much, if not more, success than in past years.
Last season, the Ephs claimed their 10th straight Little Three title and continued on to place 10th at nationals. Williams was ranked No. 2 in the NESCAC last season, behind perennial powerhouse Trinity. In the upcoming season, the team, led by captains Ethan Buchsbaum ’10, Christian Henze ’10 and Bernard Yaros ’10, hopes to build upon the success of recent years.
The team has returned a significant portion of its team from last season. Of the four individuals named to last season’s All-NESCAC First and Second Teams, three â€“ Buschbaum, Will Gruner ’11 and William Morris ’12 â€“ are back in action this season. Five members of the Williams team are also ranked in the top 100 of the College Squash Association’s pre-season individual rankings.
“We have a very strong returning class coming back,” said Head Coach Zafi Levy. “Our returning senior class . . . are all at the top five level.”
The team is also welcoming a formidable class of incoming freshmen: Alex Greaves-Tunnell ’13, Ryan Eagan ’13, Jack Ervasti ’13, Julian Drobetsky ’13 and Nick Marks ’13 “are all in the top 11 so far,” Levy said.
“As a team, [our goal is] always to try to get to the top eight and make the A division,” Levy said. “If not, we at least [try to qualify] for the top of the B division.”
This season, the Ephs specifically have their sights set on a berth in the A division. “We’ve had very successful season, [particularly in] the past five years . . . We finished 10th nationally last year after losing to Western Ontario [at Nationals], and we have a good shot at going back to division A this year,” Levy said. “To do that, we have to beat Dartmouth and Penn â€“ those will be the key matches for us.”
Even with their key competitors being outside of the NESCAC, Williams still has competitive matches within the conference. Traditional in-conference rivals include Middlebury and Bates.
Williams will jumpstart its season with three matches this weekend. The team will travel to Yale for a 7 p.m. match on Friday, and then return to the Simon Squash Courts for 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. matches against Middlebury and Harvard this Saturday.