Inside the Bison: Sports News in the Bubble: Squash impresses as 2nd best club sports team in country

Emily Evancho, Sports Editor

In Bison athletics, our main focus remains on the Division I sports we provide. We avidly follow our basketball teams as they bring attention to the school for numerous reasons. We sometimes forget the vast amount of club sports that also bear the Orange and Blue pride.

The men’s squash team is one example of a club sport that has refused to remain in the background of Bison sports. Why you ask? Although limited to a club sport, the team has performed with the same ability and perseverance as any Orange and Blue team. For the fun facts, they are ranked higher nationally than eight other Bison varsity teams. They are also the second best club team in the country, not to mention they have been acclaimed as the best club team without a coach in the nation. Led solely by student captains, Chris Santoro ’14, Henry Gadsden ’15, and Hayden Radovich ’15, the team has constantly improved, jumping from No. 56 in the country to No. 27. After finishing last year’s season with a strong performance at Nationals, which were held in Yale, the team seized the 27 rank in the nation. This season, they resumed play with confidence, returning all of their nine starters to dominate the 2013-2014 season.

“With no graduating seniors from last year, the team returns every player in the top nine,” Santoro said. “The team has also been lucky to receive five new freshmen this year who are already contributing to the team.”

As far as records go, the team has had a winning season for the past four years, only succumbing to defeat in 13 matches while sealing victory in 43. Their 2012-2013 season inspires awe, boasting a 15-2 record. This year they continued the success, currently holding a 10-2 record after their most recent 9-0 victory against University of Virginia on Feb. 8.

Determined to improve not only their team’s ability but also their squash facilities, a million dollar campaign was begun in the fall of 2012. In six months, the team achieved their monetary goal, using the campaign to push the squash program closer to the same level as their competition. Most significantly, money was allotted to the building of new squash courts that are now regulation approved “show courts.”

In the team’s opinion, their proudest accomplishment of the year has been their success in the Patriot League Round Robin which they were able to host after the building of their show courts. Not only were they successful in the tournament, taking home the championship for the second time, the event also drew a crowd of tremendous student support.

The team doesn’t plan to stop swinging toward greatness anytime soon. Plans for the future include hiring an official coach and continuing to raise enough money that will someday allow the team to become a full-fledged varsity team.

“Our biggest overall goal is to continue to grow as a team and grow in the Bucknell University community,” Santoro said. “We have worked hard to develop the program and every year we receive more and more support from the school and the Bucknell community. We want to continue to grow that relationship in addition to our team.”

The Bison squash team will return to the courts for their final effort in Nationals in Boston tomorrow. With their dedication to the sport and talent, they will surely continue to impress for years to come.

 

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