By Anne Bello
Published Oct 19, 2010 at 3:00 PM ET; Updated Oct 17, 2010 at 1:20 PM ET

South Bend, IN — For many new club teams, just making it to the Women’s National Team Championships (Howe Cup) is an accomplishment in itself. Thanks to a massive snow storm that paralyzed parts of the East Coast, the Fighting Irish had a few extra hurdles in getting to Yale.

On the first day of the tournament, flight delays kept half the team in Chicago while the other half went on ahead to face Rochester in the first round of E Division play. The depleted Irish squad, led by senior captain Kristine So, gamely took on the Yellow Jackets, even though they had to default four matches before play even began. While Rochester swept Notre Dame, several matches went past four games, and the next day, the reunited ND team defeated Drexel handily, 7-2.

Hopefully the Irish will encounter fewer travel snags as they expand their schedule this season. In addition to rematches with Rochester and Drexel, they hope to travel to the Smith round robin this winter. They’ll also have the benefit of two new squash courts to train on; two racquetball courts in the Joyce Athletics Center were converted into squash courts over the summer.

Five seniors graduated last year, but interest in squash in South Bend is on the rise. “We just had our first Squash Club meeting of the year and a dozen women were in attendance — a few of them coming from East Coast prep schools with squash teams,” coach Geoff McCuen reported after the semester began.  “We are very hopeful to fill our best women’s team ever!”

2009-2010 SEASON RECAP

Season Record: 1-3
Final Ranking: 35
Team Championships: 35th Overall; 3rd in the E Division

2010-2011 SEASON PREVIEW

Program Status: Club

Head Coach: Geoff McCuen

Returning Players from Team Championships: Tess Fitzpatrick (6); Brittani Russell (7); Colleen Walter (2)

Graduates on Last Season’s Team Championships Roster: Mariana Cuervo (3); Melissa Curvino (4); Kelly Levis (5); Amanda Schreiber (8); Kristine So (1; 2009-2010 Captain)

Team Goals: Improve ranking  and play in at least three CSA events before Women’s National Team Championships

Key Matches: Rochester, Drexel, Smith round robin

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