By Anne Bello
Published Sep 11, 2009 at 4:00 PM ET; Updated Oct 11, 2009 at 2:08 PM ET

ndSouth Bend, IN – Notre Dame, the 2008 Hawthorne Cup runner-up, has its sights on moving up to compete in the Serues Cup this season.

Notre Dame faces a significant loss in the graduation of its top player, Javier Palomo, who was instrumental in recruiting and teaching many of the team’s players. But the Fighting Irish, who will be led by junior captain Kyle Meierhofer, return all but two players from their Team Championships roster.

Last season, Notre Dame’s Rec Sports Department started offering beginner and intermediate squash classes, and the team had a large turnout of new players. The Irish were even able to send their first women’s team to Howe Cup, so squash at Notre Dame seems to be on the rise. September should bring new players to both the men’s and women’s programs.

Notre Dame will travel to Purdue to take on the Boilermakers on the same day as the Notre Dame-Purdue football game. According to coach Geoff McCuen, “We are going to watch the game together, then battle it out on the court.” Purdue and Notre Dame will join forces later in the season to take on Kenyon and Denison in the second annual Indiana vs. Ohio event.

2008-2009 Season Recap

FINAL RANKING: 50th
NATIONAL TEAM CHAMPIONSHIPS: 50th; 2nd in Hawthorn Cup (G Division)

2009-2010 Season Preview

Returning Players from Team Championships: Peter Gallagher ’10 (2); Kyle Meierhofer ’11 (3); Kevin Ortenzio ’11 (4); Ryan Jenks ’10 (6); Dennis Grabowski ’11 (7); Matthew Sushinsky ’10 (8); Nathaniel Walden ’11 (9); Kenny Schlax  ’11 (10)

Graduating Players from Team Championships: Javier Palomo (1); Juan Saucedo (5)

Captain: Kyle Meierhofer

Team Goals: To move up to Serues Cup (F Division) at National Team Championships

Key Matches: Purdue; Kenyon and Denison at the Indiana vs. Ohio match

To read other team previews, please visit the 2009 – 2010 College Squash Preview Page.