By Anne Bello
Published Oct 11, 2010 at 3:00 PM ET; Updated Oct 10, 2010 at 10:14 PM ET

Lancaster, PA — After dropping down to 29th in the national rankings at the end of the 2007-2008 season, Franklin & Marshall has been steadily improving. The Diplomats finished 22nd two seasons ago and 20th last year, and now they are looking to move up into the top 16.

At the Women’s National Team Championships (Howe Cup), the Diplomats showed how closely matched they are with other C Division teams. They won their opening match 5-4 over Bowdoin, then lost 4-5 to Vassar and Wesleyan in the next two rounds. They also beat St. Lawrence, another C Division team, 5-4 during the regular season.

With the competition between the top teams in the C Division so close (Walker Cup champs George Washington edged out Vassar 5-4 in the finals), every match will be crucial for the Diplomats. They begin their season with a series of matches against top-10 teams: Cornell, Princeton, Penn, and Williams. Their match against Hamilton, who finished 15th last season, in early December should be a good test to see how they might stack up with teams from the bottom of the B Division.

The team graduated two players from the top 9, co-captains Courtney Mulligan and Dana Russo, who both played in the bottom half of the line-up. First-year players Elizabeth Gatling and Roxana Mead will be joining the squad, and Sheena Suckoo and Tanya Arora will be taking over as captains.

2009-2010 SEASON RECAP

Season Record: 10-14
Final Ranking: 20
Team Championships: 20th Overall; 4th in Walker Cup (C Division)

2010-2011 SEASON PREVIEW

Program Status: Varsity

Head Coach: John White

Returning Players from Team Championships:
Tanya Arora (5); Katie Barnes (3); Gabby Robinson (7); Chelsea Ross (2); Morgan Smith (1); Sheena Suckoo (4); Stephanie Tzarnas (8); Aleka Woods (10)

Graduates on Last Season’s Team Championships Roster: Courtney Mulligan (6; 2009-2010 Captain); Dana Russo (9; 2009-2010 Captain)

Additions to the 2010-2011 Roster: Elizabeth Gatling and Roxana Mead

Captains: Sheena Suckoo and Tanya Arora

Team Goals: Reach the top 16

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