By Anne Bello
Published Oct 8, 2009 at 4:00 PM ET; Updated Oct 9, 2009 at 1:12 PM ET

middleburyMiddlebury, VT — In only its second season as a full varsity program, Middlebury moved up the rankings from 24th to 17th and captured the Summers Cup (C Division) at the 2008-2009 National Team Championships, winning the Sloane Award for sportsmanship along the way. The Panthers look to continue that improvement into this season and establish themselves as a force within the top twenty.

Middlebury has lost its top player, 1st-Team All-NESCAC selection JP Sardi, as well as its number 6, Jack Lysohir, but it returns the rest of the ladder, including sophomore Valentin Quan, who was 2nd-Team All-NESCAC in 2009. Joining the Panthers will be Jay Dolan, who played number 1 at Deerfield as a post-graduate, and Spencer Hurst, a top-3 player at the Brunswick School who should contend for a spot near the top of Middlebury’s ladder. Seniors Micah Wood, Eliot Jia, and Simon Keyes will captain the team.

Having narrowly beaten Bowdoin 5-4 in the Summers Cup finals, the Panthers expect a tough challenge from the Polar Bears as well as from Hamilton and George Washington. Middlebury also looks to move up the rankings by taking on Saint Lawrence and Amherst, who finished just ahead of them last season. But the team’s first test will be its second annual mountain climbing trip in the Adirondack Mountains, where they’ll join Middlebury’s women’s team.

2008-2009 Season Recap

SEASON RECORD: 15-10
FINAL RANKING: 17th
NATIONAL TEAM CHAMPIONSHIPS: 7th; 1st in Summers Cup (C Division)

2009-2010 Season Preview

Returning Players from Team Championships: Valentin Quan ’12 (2; 2nd Team All-NESCAC 2009); Brian Cady ’11 (3); JP Garofalo ’12 (4); Addi DiSesa ’12 (5); Micah Wood ’10 (7); Simon Keyes ’10 (8); Eliot Jia ’10 (9); Will Piekos ’11 (10)

Graduating Players from Team Championships: JP Sardi (1; 1st Team All-NESCAC); Jack Lysohir (6)

Additions for the 2009-2010 Roster: Jay Dolan (played number 1 at Deerfield as a PG; may play as high as #2 for Middlebury); and Spencer Hurst (played #3 for the Brunswick School; will contend for a position in Middlebury’s top 4)

Captains: Micah Wood, Eliot Jia, and Simon Keyes

Team Goals: To improve upon last year’s ranking of 17th

Key Matches:
Bowdoin, Hamilton, George Washington, Amherst, and St. Lawrence

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