By Anne Bello
Published Aug 10, 2009 at 5:00 PM ET; Updated Aug 10, 2009 at 11:57 AM ET

CornellPrinceton, NJ -– The 2009 Barnaby Award was presented to Cornell University at the National Team Championships banquet. The Barnaby Award recognizes the team that has improved the most over the previous season.

The Big Red, coached by Mark Devoy, finished the season with a 13-5 record, ranked sixth in the nation. Cornell competed in the Potter Cup (A Division) of the National Team Championships, facing some of the top teams in the nation. A year earlier, Cornell competed in the Hoehn Cup (B Division) of the National Team Championships, finishing the 2007 – 2008 season ranked eleventh with a 9-8 record.

During the regular season, the young Cornell squad, which only had one senior on its roster, convincingly defeated teams that it had struggled against a year earlier. In the 2007 – 2008 season, the Big Red twice lost to Bates, including a 3-6 loss in the National Team Championships. This year, Cornell cruised to a 9-0 victory over the Bobcats. This year they also turned around last season’s losses to Harvard, Dartmouth, Williams, and the University of Western Ontario.

This year marks the third time Cornell has won the Barnaby Award since 1988. The award is named for Hall of Fame coach Jack Barnaby of Harvard. Although Barnaby’s first men’s teams struggled, he ultimately compiled a 355-95 lifetime record, winning sixteen national titles along the way. After he retired from coaching Harvard’s men’s team in 1976, Barnaby returned several years later to guide the Crimson women to three winning seasons. He received a college squash Lifetime Achievement Award in 2000 and was inducted into the Men’s College Squash Hall of Fame in 1990, the Women’s College Squash Hall of Fame in 1997, and the U.S. Squash Hall of Fame in 2001.