NEW HAVEN, Conn. —The fourth-ranked Yale men's squash team will open its 2013-14 season Friday, Dec. 6 on the road against No. 22 Amherst and No. 11 Williams.
The Bulldogs begin the season after placing second in the Ivy Scrimmages, a preseason tournament that brings all eight Ivy League programs together for a weekend of competition in New Haven. Yale looks to be competitive and hopes to improve upon its success last season, when it took fourth at the CSA Team Championships. The competition will be tough; two fellow Ivies, No. 2 Harvard and No. 3 Princeton, currently rank above Yale.
The Bulldogs are captained this year by senior Eric Caine, who went 8-5 at No. 7 for the team last season and will look to play an even larger role this year. Joining Caine in the senior class are Neil Martin, one of Yale's winningest players last season at No. 4, and Charlie Wyatt, who has played Nos. 5-8 for the Bulldogs and finished last season ranked No. 53 nationally.
The team's junior class features two Yale squash legacies —Joseph Roberts, brother of John Roberts '12, and Huw Robinson, brother of former captain Hywel Robinson '13. Both Robinson and Roberts made appearances at the No. 9 position in this fall's Ivy Scrimmages. Rounding out the junior class are Sam Shleifer and Chris Bradshaw, two walk-ons who have seen limited time but have stepped into the lineup with success in the past.
Yale's sophomore class could be a big factor for the team this season, as all four players made significant contributions in their freshman year. One of the biggest surprises of the 2012-13 season was Sam Fenwick, who played No. 5 for the Bulldogs and upset Trinity's No. 1 Reinhold Hergeth in the first round of the CSA Individual Championships. Joining his classmate as a regular in the lineup was Zachary Leman, who won all of his matches against Ivy League opponents, playing mostly at No. 6. Pehlaaj Bajwa and Peter Dewire made fewer appearances for the Bulldogs last season, but both maintained winning records in the Nos. 7-9 slots.
Filling out the roster for the Bulldogs are four freshmen, including heralded Kah Wah Cheong, who quickly settled into the No. 1 position at the Ivy Scrimmages. Thomas Dembinski, a New Haven native and graduate of the Hopkins School, looks to be another standout, earning a win at No. 2 against Harvard in the Ivy Scrimmages. Liam McClintock, who played No. 6 in the Ivy Scrimmages, and Derek Lo, who walked onto the team this fall and has yet to make an appearance, are Yale's other additions to the roster.
The Bulldogs will play at Amherst and Williams on Dec. 6 before taking a month-long break and returning to competition Jan. 8 against Franklin and Marshall and Drexel. Their Ivy League season kicks off Jan. 11 against Columbia at the Brady Squash Center.
Report by Joe Giammittorio '15, Yale Sports Publicity