By Michael T. Bello
Published Sep 22, 2009 at 4:00 PM ET; Updated Sep 17, 2009 at 7:04 PM ET

rochesterRochester, NY — Rochester’s monumental rise in the College Squash Association’s rankings continued last season.  Since becoming coach at the beginning of the 2005-2006 season,  Martin Heath has guided the team from 25th (2006), to 16th (2007),  10th (2008), and  3rd (2009) place finishes.  Not surprisingly, during that period, the Yellowjackets earned the Barnaby Award, which is given to the most improved team each season, twice.

Last season’s thrilling 5-4 victory over Yale at the National Team Championships earned Rochester its 3rd place finish.  The team’s goal is to continue last season’s momentum in 2009-2010.  The team has strengthened its schedule, and it will host matches with Cornell, Harvard, Princeton, and Yale.  As with any team near the top of the rankings, Rochester is gunning to win the team championships.  With Fred Reid and Adam Perkiomaki not playing this season, the Yellowjackets hope that their new recruits will fill the void.

The Yellowjackets bring an international flavor to Rochester. This year’s additions, Andres Duany (Peru), Juan Pablo Gaviria (Columbia), and Oscar Lopez Hidalgo (Mexico) bring the total countries represented on the team to thirteen: British Virgin Islands, Canada, Colombia, El Salvador, England, Finland, Guyana, Japan, Mexico, Peru, Switzerland, Ukraine, and the United States.  During January, the team will train in the British Virgin Islands.

This summer has been busy for all members of the team.  Hameed Ahmed landed a media internship with the Finnish Broadcasting Corporation and Joe Chapman traveled extensively. Coach Heath traveled to India with the US Junior Men’s Team for the World Championships. Despite all their activities, the team is busy training. After all, in September they are running the Rochester Marathon as a relay.  The race will benefit the Arthritis Foundation.

2008-2009 Season Recap

RECORD: 12-6
FINAL RANKING: 3rd
NATIONAL TEAM CHAMPIONSHIPS: 3rd; 3rd in Potter Cup (A Division)

2009-2010 Season Preview

Returning Players from Team Championships: Jim Bristow ’10 (1; All-American); Benjamin Fischer ’12 (2; 2nd Team All-American); Hameed Ahmed ’11 (3; 2nd Team All-American); Matthew Domenick ’12 (4); Will Newnham ’11 (6); Joseph Chapman ’12 (7); Yohay Wakabayashi ’10 (9); Edwin Goncharuk ’11 (10); Robert McDavid ’11 (11)

Graduating Players from Team Championships: Ori Goldman (12; CSA Scholar-Athlete)

Additions for the 2009-2010 Roster:

  • Expected to compete in the top 4: Andres Duany (Peru)
  • Expected to compete in the top 7: Juan Pablo Gaviria (Colombia)
  • Expected to compete in the top 10: Oscar Lopez Hidalgo (Mexico)

Captains: Jim Bristow ’10 and Hameed Ahmed ’11

Team Goals: To finish in the top three

Key Matches: Home matches against Princeton, Yale, Cornell, and Harvard

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