Northampton, MA — The 2010 Barnaby Award was presented to the Yale University Bulldogs.
The Barnaby Award is given annually to the men’s team showing the most improvement from the previous season. The award is named for Hall of Fame coach Jack Barnaby of Harvard.
Coaches vote for the Barnaby Award during the Men’s National Team Championships. Strength of schedule as well as the number of spots improved in the national rankings are taken into account.
The Yale men came into this season looking to improve after a frustrating end to their 2008-2009 campaign. They were upset in the first round of the National Team Championships by Rochester and finished fifth overall, having come into the tournament seeded third.
The Bulldogs’ strength was clear even before the 2009-2010 season was officially underway, as they won the Ivy Scrimmages in early November. The Ivy Scrimmages were a sign of things to come: the Bulldogs went undefeated in league play and took home their first Ivy title since 2006, when they shared the honor with Princeton and Harvard. To win the Ivy title, the Bulldogs defeated defending Ivy champs Princeton 5-4 in late January; Aaron Fuchs, John Roberts, and Robert Berner came through with five-game wins to seal the match.
Yale finished the regular season with a 15-1 record, playing the top teams in the nation and losing only to Trinity, the defending national champions. The Bulldogs came into the National Team Championships seeded second, and they defeated Dartmouth 9-0 in the opening round. Playing before cheering fans in the packed Brady Squash Center, the Bulldogs were able avenge their loss to Rochester in the 2009 championships with a satisfying 5-4 win. Though they eventually lost to Trinity in the finals, the Yale men improved upon their performance against the Bantams earlier in the season, picking up two additional wins.
Individual Yale players also earned a number of distinctions. Fuchs and first-year players Kenneth Chan and Hywel Robinson were named to the All-Ivy team. Fuchs, Robinson, and senior captain Todd Ruth all earned All-American honors, and C.J. Plimpton won the Molloy Cup (“B” Division) at Individuals.
Guiding the Bulldogs through the season were head coach Dave Talbott, associate head coach Gareth Webber, and assistant coach Pam Saunders, with help from volunteer assistant coach Pam Anckermann. The team’s five seniors — Sharyar Aziz, Rusty Feldman, Fuchs, Christopher Reid, and Ruth — capped their college squash careers with a strong season. Their teammates will look to carry their momentum into the next season.