By Anne Bello
Published Sep 9, 2010 at 7:00 AM ET; Updated Sep 7, 2010 at 9:13 PM ET

Middlebury, VT — In only three seasons as a varsity team, the Middlebury Panthers already have  two “C” Division championships to their name. Neither of those wins came easily: Middlebury defeated Bowdoin 5-4 to win the 2008-2009 Summers Cup, and number 1 Valentin Quan came back from two games down to win the fifth and deciding match against Amherst in last year’s “C” Division finals.

The Panthers finished last season with their best record — 20-7 — in program history. Of course, that program history is not a very long one, but Middlebury has improved every season it’s been a varsity team. Can the Panthers carry that improvement into moving up to the “B” Division this season?

They will have five new first-year players to help them try. Parker Hurst of Brunswick and Will Moore of Pingry are expected to play very close to the top of the ladder. Lawrenceville’s Cooper Redpath and two Belmont Hill grads, Chris Ivin and Trevor Truog, will also bring high school squash experience to the team. Last year’s top four players will also be back, among them Quan and Jay Dolan, who both earned All-NESCAC honors. Senior Brian Cady will lead the team as captain, and a number of players competing lower on the ladder will be back as well.

Middlebury has lost three players to graduation: tri-captains Micah Wood, Eliot Jia, and Simon Keyes. The trio played on the team in its first year as a varsity program, and they saw Middlebury’s transition from club program to back-to-back Summers Cup champions. In a sense, their graduation marks the end of an era for the Panthers. It’s fitting, then, that Middlebury has plans to build a new squash facility in the near future, as the program continues to grow.

2009-2010 SEASON RECAP

Season Record: 20-7
Final Ranking: 17
Team Championships: 17th Overall; 1st in Summers Cup (C Division)

2010-2011 SEASON PREVIEW

Program Status:
Varsity

Head Coach:
John Illig

Returning Players from Team Championships: Brian Cady (3); Addi DiSesa (7); Jay Dolan (2; 2nd Team All-NESCAC); Spencer Hurst (4); Will Piekos (9); Valentin Quan (1; 1st Team All-NESCAC); Mark Sorrentino (10)

Graduates on Last Season’s Team Championships Roster: Eliot Jia (6; 2009-2010 Captain); Simon Keyes (8; 2009-2010 Captain); Micah Wood (5; 2009-2010 Captain)

Additions to the 2010-2011 Roster: Parker Hurst, Will Moore, Cooper Redpath, Chris Ivin, and Trevor Truog

Captain: Brian Cady

Team Goals: Bond as a team, and either continue winning “C” Division Championships or climb into the “B” Division

Key Matches: Amherst, Bowdoin, Bates, Brown, Williams, GW, F&M, and St. Lawrence

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