By Anne Bello
Published Sep 7, 2010 at 3:00 PM ET; Updated Sep 7, 2010 at 9:14 PM ET

Lancaster, PA — Franklin & Marshall concluded the 2009-2010 season with its highest year-end ranking in a decade, finishing 11th in the nation. On the threshold of the top 10, the Diplomats are poised to move up the rankings, and the top teams are starting to take notice.

F&M has lost two seniors from its top nine players: 2009-2010 co-captains Zarir Aibara and Sadiq Madraswala. Madraswala played number 3 for the Diplomats, and Aibara played number 5. Though F&M’s losses have come near the top of their ladder, they should be even stronger this season. Nadav Tannen, who played number 1 for the Diplomats during the 2008-2009 season, will be back in the line-up. F&M has a large incoming first-year class, and two players — Justin Singh and Mauricio Sedano Nunez — like Tannen should play somewhere in the top 4. Gabriel de Melo and Guillherme de Melo, the top two players from last season, will also be back. Gabriel de Melo, a junior, will captain the squad with senior Ben Lurio.

The Diplomats will get their first real test of the season in mid November, when they face Cornell, who finished 6th last year and have been on an upward trajectory of their own in recent years. Between the 2007-2008 and 2008-2009 seasons, the Big Red jumped from 11th to 6th, and the Diplomats will attempt to make the same kind of leap. F&M’s matches against Williams in early December and Dartmouth in January will be other opportunities to take on top 10 teams that may be within reach.

2009-2010 SEASON RECAP

Season Record: 13-10
Final Ranking: 11
Team Championships: 11th Overall; 3rd in Hoehn Cup (B Division)

2010-2011 SEASON PREVIEW

Program Status:
Varsity

Head Coach: John White

Returning Players from Team Championships: Pat Cunningham (6); Gabriel de Melo (1); Guillherme de Melo (2); Juan Diego Lopez (4); Chris Gagnier (7); Ben Lurio (8); Scott Nehrbas (10); Fred Struse (9)

Graduates on Last Season’s Team Championships Roster: Zarir Aibara (5; 2009-2010 Captain); Sadiq Madraswala (3; 2009-2010 Captain)

Additions to the 2010-2011 Roster:

  • Expected to play in the top 4: Mauricio Sedano Nunez, Justin Singh, and Nadav Tannen
  • Other additions: Adnan Abdulhusein, Aadit Zaveri, Sujat Burua, Jack Cutler, Ben Ng, Ryan Mullany, Freddy Hernandez, and Charlie Wagner

Captains: Ben Lurio and Gabriel De Melo

Goals:
Reach the top 10

Key Matches: Williams, Dartmouth, and Cornell

To read other team previews, please visit the 2010 – 2011 College Squash Preview Page.