Squash teams hope for successful season
As Fall term draws to a close and winter sports begin official play, the excitement of the men's and women's squash teams rises in anticipation of the upcoming season.
The teams have been training intensely since the first week of classes. Early morning sprints twice weekly, distance running and lifting weights have complimented their hours on the court.
As a result of this work the players hope to be better conditioned than in years past. This could be crucial to the teams' success because more and more schools are now playing on International courts. Wider than standard courts, they tend to favor players who are in better shape.
The teams are now being coached by assistant coaches Shireen Kaufman and Ken Cucuel. Head Coach Christine Brownell will be taking the next few weeks off with her new daughter Rebecca who was born Nov. 2.
The women kicked off their first competition of the season last weekend at the Ivy Scrimmages tournament. Although losses to Harvard, Princeton, Penn and Brown were disappointing for the squad, they beat Yale for the first time since 1987.
"The team put forth a great effort and played well," co-Captain Jennifer Gallagher '96 said.
Laurie Sykes '99 has been playing number one for the team, followed by Heather Duckworth '98 at number two.
As a whole the women's team is bigger than usual and consists of many experienced seniors. It is what co-Captain Trisha Cunningham '96 called the "strongest team in years."
This weekend the Dartmouth women will host Williams and two Canadian teams in the Can-Am tournament. The first match will start at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, with matches again at 1:00 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. on Saturday.
The only position vacated after last season was the number one seat, which will be filled this year by experienced co-Captain Scott Hammond '96.
Hammond played at number three during his freshman year and number two his sophomore and junior years.
The addition of three new players, Will Leicht '99, Tucker Richmond '99 and Will Flatley '99, should bolster the team's success.
This year the men hope to "add to the strength and momentum we had at the end of last season," co-Captain John-Keith Wasson said. He said the team became very close towards the end of last year.
"We started off shaky" last year, Wasson said. But after certain wins, he said, the team's record improved and the players felt an increased sense of unity.
"A tight sense of team makes you stronger" on the court, Wasson said. This, coupled with what he calls a "good sense of morale," should drive this year's men's team into a successful start.
Wasson said he thinks the team's fall training will definitely pay off.
"We're psyched up to play softball," he said. Softball is a much slower game than hardball and thus requires more quickness on the part of the players.
The men will travel to Brown this weekend for their first tournament, the Ivy Scrimmages.
The first standard season match for the men and women is at Brown Nov. 19. The first home match will be against Williams Jan. 10.