By Anne Bello
Published Sep 22, 2010 at 7:00 AM ET; Updated Sep 18, 2010 at 9:57 PM ET

Middletown, CT — For the past ten seasons, the Wesleyan men have finished within the top thirty.  The last time they broke into the top twenty in the final rankings was the 1999-2000 season. With seven first-year players joining the team, the Cardinals hope to start their next decade of squash by making it back into the top twenty.

Five seniors from the Cardinals’ 2009-2010 championship roster have graduated, among them co-captains Nate Fowles and Lonnie Gibbs, and Wesleyan’s four-year number 1, Robert Broadfoot. Fowles has been working as an intern at City Squash in New York, and Broadfoot was awarded Wesleyan University’s highest film award for his senior film thesis in 2010.

Matt Candal and Dale Kobrin, the two Cardinals who played behind Broadfoot in the lineup, will be leading the squad as co-captains. They will be providing guidance to a number of young players, who will be filling in spots throughout the ladder. John Steele and Jeff Berman are expected to play in the top three, and Ethan Moritz is expected to play in the top six. Chase Hochman, Alex Nunez, and Zander Nassikas should compete for spots in the lower two-thirds of the ladder, and Sam McAllister should be in the mix as well. Sophomore Nick Cavallo and junior Keitaro Sagawa will also join the team.

Wesleyan will also be welcoming a new assistant coach, Erik Golden, who will primarily work with the men’s program. Golden, a former varsity hockey player and current scratch golfer, replaces Geoff Wheeler and has been a regular player at both Wesleyan and Trinity College squash clubs. Head coach Shona Kerr says that Golden will bring “energy, motivating force, enthusiasm and seasoned squash skills to the Cardinal camp.”

The Wesleyan courts were busy over the summer. Wesleyan welcomed US number 1 and former collegiate standout Julian Illingworth and Canadian number 1 Shahier Razik to campus for two weeks of camp where they faced off in a series of challenge matches.

Illingworth’s and Razik’s performances can serve as inspiration for the Cardinal players. Kerr has served warning: “Other schools — look out, we are finally coming for you!”

2009-2010 SEASON RECAP

Season Record: 11-14
Final Ranking: 27
Team Championships: 27th Overall; 3rd in Conroy Cup (D Division)

2010-2011 SEASON PREVIEW

Program Status: Varsity

Head Coach: Shona Kerr

Returning Players from Team Championships: Shivan Bhavnani (9); Matt Candal (2); Dale Kobrin (3); Brewster Lee (5); Carlos Richardson (10); Luke Wherry (7)

Graduates on Last Season’s Team Championships Roster: Kyle Baicker-McKee (8); Robert Broadfoot (1); Nate Fowles (4; 2009-2010 Captain); Lonnie Gibbs (6; 2009-2010 Captain)

Additions to the 2010-2011 Roster:

  • Expected to play in the top 3: John Steele and Jeff Berman
  • Expected to play in the top 6: Ethan Moritz
  • Expected to play in the bottom 6: Chase Hochman, Alex Nunez, and Zander Nassikas
  • Other additions: Sam McAllister, Nick Cavallo, and Keitaro Sagawa

Captains: Dale Kobrin and Matt Candal

Team Goals:
Break into the top 20 nationally and push for the top 16 (B division) of the men’s championships.

Key Matches: All NESCAC matches

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