Men’s squash is finalizing its preseason training in preparation for the 2011-12 season. The Ephs garnered a 16-10 (4-0 in the NESCAC) record in their campaign last winter. The Ephs made an appearane in the NESCAC tournament finals and earned a second-place finish in the College Squash Association ‘B’ Division.
The team lost three seniors to graduation last spring: Eli Bronfman ’11, Will Gruner ’11 and Jeremy Herrmann ’11. “We lost our No. 2 and our No. 3 in Will Gruner and Jeremy Herrmann,” Head Coach Zafi Levy ’01 said. “They were captains and great players.”
Levy will look to the rookies to fill this void, as he emphasized that the rookie class will be particularly strong this season. “We have five freshmen, a very good recruiting class,” he said. Kevin Chen ’15 will likely play at the No. 2 or 3 spot this season. “That’s great to have somebody playing at that level right away,” Levy said.
Chris Wilkinson ’15 is expected to fill the No. 6 spot, while Nicholas Greaves-Tunnell ’15 and Kai Graham ’15 will also look to play in the top nine. Conor McClintock ’15 is also expected to make a contribution, despite entering his rookie campaign fresh off an injury.
“[The rookies] are all very strong players who will contribute to the team,” Jared Zuckerman ’12 said. “They will reinforce the depth of our team, which has always been one of our greatest strengths.”
The team will also boast a strong core of returning players, including captain Will Morris ’12, who will lead the group at No. 1. “On a good day, Will can beat almost any American player,” Levy said. “He’s grown into a great leader, showing by example.” Zuckerman and Adnan Khan ’12 will also look to crack the top nine.
Levy expects Julian Drobetsky ’13 to return in top form after taking last year off. The team will also rely on juniors Nick Marks ’13 and Alec Greaves-Tunnell ’13 and sophomores Andy Maruca ’14 and Taylor Foehl ’14.
The team is looking to best top teams like Columbia, Penn, Dartmouth and Franklin & Marshall this season, ultimately aiming to finish in the top eight nationally. “If we beat those four, we can be in the top eight and that’ll be great,” Levy said. “If we’re not going to make the top eight, we’ll definitely challenge the ‘B’ division.”
“It’s always a goal to improve our ranking from the previous season,” Zuckerman added. “We finished 11th in the country last year. We play the top teams in the country, and our goal is always to make every match as competitive as possible.”
The men will open their season hosting Harvard on Friday at 5 p.m. They will then host Hamilton on Saturday at 1 p.m. and Cornell on Sunday at 12 p.m.