Men's And Women's 2003 Squash Outlook
Jan. 22, 2003
This year marks the first time that Squash is included as a Varsity Sport at GW. While the men have a long tradition as a club team, the women's team begins a new program in 2003. Both the men's and women's teams are working hard to build a strong program in the Nation's Capital.
The George Washington University men's squash program has existed for more than 20 years at the club level. While the sport has a healthy history at GW, this year marks the inaugural season for squash as a varsity sport. With this new University support and a new practice facility at the Lerner Health and Wellness Center, this year's squash squad hopes to reach greater levels of success. Guiding them in this mission is first-year coach Simon Harrington (George Washington '96) who was a member of the GW club squash team for four years. Harrington takes over the helm for retired professor/coach Charles Elliott.
The squad finds itself in a strong position to achieve some of their goals with the addition of four freshmen including Dhruv Singh (Jaipur, India) and Greg Vernick from (West Roxbury, MA). Vernick is listed by the College Squash Association as a "Freshman to Watch." The main focus this year is to increase the team's fitness level, the key to success in top level squash. With this focus on fitness, the team aspires to move into the Top 25 by the end of the season. This would move them into the third division rather than the fifth division in which they currently play. Starting this year ranked 34th, the team hopes that the infusion of young talent will make for an exciting season and begin the climb in the national rankings.
Early season success has made the team's pre-season goals appear attainable.
They posted a 2-3 record in the fall of 2002 and seem poised to continue
their winning ways when the season resumes in January 2003. The squash squad
exceeded expectations when they beat 26th-ranked Haverford, 8-1, in November
2002. The Colonials also defeated Colgate in their first competition as a
varsity team to set the tone for years to come.
Women's squash begins play in January 2003 under the leadership of first-year coach Sarah West (Dartmouth '02). Despite being a brand new varsity sport, the women's team boasts six experienced players coupled with three strong athletes who are still new to the sport.
The team will be led by the strength of five talented upperclassmen: graduate student Megan Morris, seniors Mary Mayo, Abby Markoe and juniors Sierra Curtiss and Alexandra Hahn. Hahn, Markoe and Curtiss are all experienced players who will set strong examples for on-court performance. Morris and Mayo, although new to the game, have a natural sense of the racquet as well as a strong competitive spirit. The leadership of these veterans will be invaluable to the team during its inaugural season.
Sophomores Emily Elliott, Lisa Cahan and Kimberly Brownstein will provide a strong core for the Colonials for years to come. Jessica Marks, although new to the game, has exhibited great athleticism and dedication to picking up the sport as the team's only freshman. Each athlete exhibits a positive attitude and an enthusiasm for the game that will make them strong leaders both on and off the court for the seasons to follow.
Although the number of matches is limited this season, the schedule offers a great opportunity for the team to expand its competitive sense and learn more about the sport. Following the winter break, the team travels to Philadelphia to take on the University of Pennsylvania and Bowdoin College. The team will spend a weekend in Lancaster, PA, facing Franklin & Marshall as well as West's alma mater, Haverford College. The women will also take on their neighbors in Annapolis competing against Navy's J.V. team. GW ends the season by joining all other 36 teams at the Howe Cup held at Yale University, from February 14-16. In addition to some top competition, the team will measure their inaugural season against the nation's top teams - with an eye toward the future.