Men's and Women's Squash
Denison Squash wins Chaffee Cup
The Big Red men’s squash team captured the Chaffee Cup at last weekend’s National Team Championships hosted by Trinity College in Hartford, Conn. On its way to the title, third-seeded Denison defeated Northeastern University in the quarterfinal round, then followed up with an upset of second-seeded Johns Hopkins University in the semifinals. That set up the dramatic championship bout with top-seeded Georgetown University.
After the first seven matches of the championship versus Georgetown, Denison found itself needing to come back from a 3-4 deficit. That’s when Drew Lavine, a sophomore from Atherton, Calif., won his match against No. 5, leaving it to Denison’s Marshall Crane, a senior from Princeton, N.J., to provide the ultimate heroics.
Crane faced No. 4, Georgetown sophomore Mac Williamson, and won the first game, 11-4. Crane went on to lose the second game, but quickly made up for it with a win in the third, followed by a tie-breaking win in the fourth, with a score of 12-10. That fourth game secured the championship and the Chaffee Cup for Denison.
This was the first national trophy for the Big Red since they won the Summers Cup in 2004 by defeating Stanford University in the championship match.
Of his championship Denison squad, Coach Walt Thieman said, “This year’s team showed incredible heart and drive, which enabled this comeback victory. They worked hard in preparation for this national showcase event.” Thieman added. “With only Marshall Crane graduating this year and some solid prospects expected to be on campus next year, the squash team is poised to return to the glory days when Denison was a top-tier team.”
Other schools joining Denison as national team champions this year were Princeton University, Middlebury College, Trinity College, and Hamilton College.
2014-15 Season Preview
This year the men’s team has an opportunity to significantly improve our College Squash Association ranking from 35th place and we hope to return to the Top-24 in CSA rankings. The 2014-15 match schedule is full and we will be competing against top teams including Stanford, Bucknell, George Washington, Navy and Wesleyan. On the women’s side we are excited to begin our first full competitive season and it is our hope to establish the team as an up and coming team in the Midwest. The women will be traveling to Charlottesville, Va. and Cincinnati, Ohio to participate in round-robin events.
Denison is hosting the second annual Silver Tournament for juniors on Thanksgiving weekend. Last year, 48 players participated from all over the country. This has given our team and facility great exposure. Information for this event can be found on the US Squash site under Junior Tournaments (www.ussquash.com).
The Men’s Squash Club Team traveled to the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD on Friday November 14th to play against 5 other Varsity Teams incoluding Stanford Friday night, Navy, Bucknell and University of Virginia on the 14th and George Washington on the 15th. The team played tough squash all 3 days, coming very close to winning against their nearest competitors Bucknell (4-5). All the other teams hold stronger rankings by at least 6 places. Denison players showed improved fitness from doing the Insanity program for the months of September and October, they showed stronger court shots from tighter rails and defined drop shots. Every match was a battle – there were 40 in all! The team is determined to get even stronger and to continue working towards challenging and wining against the better ranked teams over the course of the season.
Jim Cowardin (e-mail)