New Haven, Conn. – The Yale men's squash team will open its 2010-11 campaign Saturday morning at the Brady Squash Center, where the Bulldogs will face Ivy League rival Penn at 11 a.m. and Bates at 5 p.m.
The Bulldogs enter the season ranked No. 2 nationally, behind only squash juggernaut Trinity. The current roster looks equipped to potentially challenge the powerhouse Bantams for a national title, having already won the preseason Ivy Scrimmages.
The first step in the quest for a championship will begin this weekend, when the Bulldogs finally return to match play after a long fall season of training.
The Elis will not be at full strength for Saturday's opener, as senior John Fulham is sidelined with a strained groin, while sophomore Kenneth Chan's knee injury has him listed as questionable for the matches.
Despite the two injuries, the Bulldogs will look to put on a strong showing. Sophomores Hywel Robinson and Richard Dodd will anchor the Yale ladder, followed by senior captain Naishadh Lalwani, who has had "an outstanding fall" according to head coach Dave Talbott. Juniors Ryan Dowd, John Roberts and Robbie Berner will fill in the ladder along with seniors CJ Plimpton and Mike Maruca and freshmen Neil Martin and Charlie Wyatt.
Coach Talbott expects a competitive match with Penn and hopes his team will "open [its] season with a strong result to show the benefits of [its] pre-season program."
Assistant coach Pam Saunders adds that the matches will be beneficial going forward, as they will allow the team "to see where [it] needs to keep on improving."
report filed by Alex Milvae '12, Yale Sports Publicity