Men’s Squash Claims National Championship: Raiders Capture First Title Since 2007


The men’s squash team this past weekend won the Squash National Championship; the team ranked 50th in the country. 

Reed Schultz, Maroon-News Staff

This past weekend the Men’s Squash Team travelled to New Haven, Connecticut to compete in the 2015-2016 Squash Nationals. The team competed in its division as the No. 2 seed behind only Northwestern University. On Friday, the team handily defeated Notre Dame with a 9-0 sweep. Playing at Yale University on Saturday, the team cruised to a convincing victory over Penn State. Northwestern, the No. 1 seed also advanced to the championship with very little difficulty. Competing for the Hawthorn Cup, Colgate came away victorious with a 6-3 victory over Northwestern. The defeat of Northwestern marks the Raiders first national title since 2007. 

When asked about the victory, junior captain Matt Swain was pleased with the team’s performance. 

“It was a whole team effort. The championship was won by every man out there that day, even the ones not competing. The lights were a little bit brighter. The crowd was a little bit bigger, but the game stayed the same,” Swain said.  

The match against Northwestern had several close matchups with the No. 3 player, Ryan Wetsman, coming away with a key victory in five games. The No. 1 and 2 seeds, Matt Swain and Jeremy Reikes, both came away with 3-0 wins respectively. The No. 4, 5 and 9 players, Philip Brauer, Oliver Green and John Singer, respectively, also won their matches. Sophomore Reed Schultz, first-year Esteban Dardani and junior Ryan Griffin, although losing, fought hard in their close matches. 

Head coach Ben Oliver was ecstatic with the outcome for his team. 

“I’m really proud of not only the way the team played, but also the respect they showed for their opponents and the game of squash. The men’s team really came together this weekend and played some of the best squash they’ve played all season when it mattered most,” Oliver commented. 

This year the team was especially young, without any seniors competing in the top nine and first-years playing at the number 3, 5, and 9 spots. In fact, all three first-years were victorious on Sunday. It is clear that having both youth and experience made the difference this year. 

“Our team was hungry for a championship this year. We attended practice religiously, improved our fitness and fed off each other’s energy. Hopefully we can keep this momentum going until next year and break the top 30 in the rankings,” sophomore Jeremy Reikes said. Reikes finished the 2015-2016 campaign undefeated, posting an 11-0 record at the No. 2 spot. 

The championship this weekend could not have come without the vocal support of team members Harry Quinton and JT Mehr. Their leadership was absolutely crucial in uniting the team. This victory cemented Colgate as an up-and-coming squash program. Although it is technically not a varsity team, the talent level within the group is commensurate with that of other varsity programs. 

“It was a long and hard fought season with many ups and downs, but we came out on top. I’m happy to be a part of such an amazing group of people,” sophomore Philip Brauer said. 

“After a tough 5-6 season last year and going 7-7 the previous season, this year the men’s team found their stride and put together an impressive 10-3 record,” Coach Oliver said reflecting on the season. Coming back next year with the same core group of players, the team is primed to win another championship.