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#16 Men's Squash Opens Saturday, Looking To Climb To Ranks

THACA, N.Y. — The men's squash team starts its regular season Saturday with a pair of non-league matches. The Big Red hosts Williams at 11 a.m. at Belkin International Squash Courts before shifting northwest to wrap up the day-night doubleheader at 6 p.m. at Rochester. Cornell is coming off a season in which it posted a 6-15 record and slid into 16th in the final Dunlop College Squash Rankings after an eighth-place finish at the Hoehn Cup. But the Big Red has significant cause for optimism in the second year at the helm for David Palmer, the James Broadhead '57 Head Coach of Squash, in bringing back seniors Andy Muran and Perry Hanson from the top positions and a group of six freshmen expected to make immediate contributions. Muran posted a 7-12 record from the No. 1 position last year against some of the nation's top competition to win the team's Most Valuable Player honors. Hanson typically competed at No. 2 and was the only regular entry for the squad to post a winning individual record at 11-9. Illia Presman also returns after going 9-12 from primarily the No. 4 spot as a freshman. Tabbed 15th in the CSA's preseason rankings, Cornell unofficially started up the season two weeks ago at the Ivy Scrimmages, hosted by Yale. The Big Red took three points in each of its matches against top-flight Columbia and Princeton, with freshmen Charles Culhane and Nicholas Goth Errington winning their respective matches against the third-ranked Lions. The Big Red then wrapped up the weekend with a solid 7-2 victory over 14th-ranked Brown. This will mark the fifth straight year Cornell will take on Williams during its opening weekend of competition. Last year, it was the Big Red securing a 7-2 victory in Williamstown, Massachusetts to record its ninth straight victory against the Ephs. Williams, which enters this season ranked 21st, still holds a slim 15-16 lead in the all-time series. After making the sure trip to the Flower City later in the evening, Cornell will attempt to make a national statement when it takes on the fifth-ranked Yellowjackets. Even though Rochester is in a different league, the Yellowjackets are the most common opponent in Cornell's program history. The Big Red holds a dominating 56-18 advantage in the all-time series, though Rochester has won eight of last nine meetings. The lone Cornell victory in that span came by a 6-3 margin on Jan. 23, 2013 at Belkin.

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