NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Friday, the Franklin & Marshall Diplomats, ranked No. 7 nationally, will come to the Brady Squash Center to take on the No. 6 Bulldogs.
The Bulldogs come into the matchup looking strong, fresh off of a second place finish in the Ivy Scrimmages, where they defeated No. 8 Dartmouth and No. 1 Princeton before falling 5-4 in the final to No. 3 Harvard. The Bulldog result demonstrated just how much flexibility there is in the ranks of men's squash this season, with no clear favorite.
Franklin & Marshall, with their No. 7 ranking, is another team that hopes to be included in the national squash conversation. The Diplomats are currently 2-1, with their defeat coming 9-0 at the hands of Princeton. Last season, the team finished 11-9 and fell to the Bulldogs 6-3 in their matchup.
The Franklin & Marshall roster boasts numerous ranked players, with eleven Diplomats falling in the top 200. Leading the way is Guilherme de Melo at No. 9, followed by No. 42 Mauricio Sedano and No. 99 Ryan Mullaney in the top hundred. In the next bracket, Alexander Arjoon is No. 112, Patrick Cunningham is No. 119, and No. 124 Sujat Barua finishes off the top group. Further down the line are No. 147 Aadit Zaveri, No. 153 Charles Cutler, Brian Henry at No. 171 and finally Freddy Hernandez at No. 173. All things told, although the Diplomats are not top-heavy, the team has enough talent to provide a challenge to the Bulldogs.
The Bulldogs, though, have some talent of their own. Led by senior Kenneth Chan at No. 16, Yale boasts four players in the top fifty and nine players in the top 130. Senior Richard Dodd is No. 23, and Hywel Robinson, the captain and another senior, is ranked No. 30. Junior Neil Martin is No. 43, and fellow junior Charlie Wyatt is ranked No. 94. No. 96 Eric Caine, a junior, rounds out the top 100 at No. 96, but he is followed closely by senior Sam Haig at No. 114 and sophomore Joseph Roberts in the No. 127 ranked position.
While both teams are stocked with ranked players, Yale would appear to have an advantage. However, Caine, a walk-on, demonstrates the problem with paying too much attention to rankings. In the Ivy Scrimmages, Caine knocked off No. 59 Julian Kerby from Harvard, the nation's No. 2 recruit last year.
The match is Friday at 5 p.m.
Report by Calvin Bohn '14, Yale Sports Publicity