By Anne Bello
Published Oct 2, 2009 at 7:00 AM ET; Updated Sep 28, 2009 at 8:19 AM ET

harvardCambridge, MA — Harvard was the last team to win the national title before Trinity began its championship run, and the Crimson are eager to reclaim the Potter Cup. But with Trinity and Princeton so dominant and the other teams in the A division improving, the Harvard men have their work cut out for them.

The Crimson finished fourth at last season’s National Team Championships after an up-and-down season. In early December Harvard lost to Cornell for the first time in men’s college squash history. The Crimson were able to avenge that loss by beating Cornell 5-4 in the first round of the National Team Championships. After losing to eventual champion Trinity 9-0 in the semifinals, Harvard had to face Rochester in the 3rd-place playoff match. Harvard had beaten Rochester 5-4 earlier in the season, but the Yellowjackets had beaten Yale in the first round, taking out a team that had defeated Harvard 5-4 just over a week before the championships. Though Harvard put up a fight, the Yellowjackets prevailed 7-2.

Harvard will be without number 2 Verdi DiSesa, number 3 Nico Hrdy, and number 9 Ned Reeves, who all graduated last year. Seniors Frank Cohen and Colin West will captain the experienced squad. West, a two-time All-American and the third-place finisher in last year’s individual tournament, will try to become the twelfth player in Harvard squash history to be named to the All-Ivy team four times. First-year players Charles Gertler, Alexander Ma, Jason Michas, and Zeke Scherl are expected to compete for spots in the team’s top twelve.

Harvard will play a demanding schedule. “Every time we step on the court it is against the top teams in the country so each match is key to the success of the season,” notes assistant coach Chris Smith. The team was able to reschedule their match against Trinity from a Wednesday to a Saturday, so the players will have the benefit of a restful day of travel and more time for match-day preparation when they take on the defending national champs.

Thanks to changes in Harvard’s academic calendar, the team has new-found free time in January for training in Cambridge and possibly other locations. The team has plans to continue to volunteer with the Kids Squash Program and to become involved with Habitat for Humanity as well.

2008-2009 Season Recap

SEASON RECORD: 7-6
FINAL RANKING: 5th
NATIONAL TEAM CHAMPIONSHIPS: 4th; 4th in Potter Cup (A Division)

2009-2010 Season Preview

Returning Players from Team Championships: Colin West ’10 (1; All-American, All-Ivy); Eliot Buchanan ’10 (4); Reed Endresen ’10 (5); Richard Hill ’11 (6); Frank Cohen ’10 (7); Will Ahmed ’12 (8); Alex Lavoie ’10 (10)

Graduating Players from Team Championships: Verdi DiSesa (2); Nico Hrdy (3); Ned Reeves (9)

Additions for the 2009-2010 Roster: Charles Gertler ’13, Alexander Ma ’13, Jason Michas ’13, and Zeke Scherl ’13

Captains: Frank Cohen and Colin West

Team Goals: To win the Ivy League and national titles

Key Matches: Trinity; will take on top-ranked teams throughout the season

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