By Anne Bello
Published Oct 28, 2010 at 7:00 AM ET; Updated Oct 23, 2010 at 8:41 PM ET

Philadelphia, PA — The Drexel team has made enormous strides in its two years of existence.

According to captain Violetta Shubayeva, the team has gone “from sharing squash shoes and racquets at our very first match in the emerging bracket at Nationals of ’08 to a full-fledged nine-woman team all suited up in official uniforms, with a coach, volunteering and fund-raising accomplishments and recognition from our university.”

Drexel has invested in squash, building two international courts as part of a new campus recreation center. The team also has the benefit of working with a coach, Guillermo Moronta, and they are in position to field a full nine-player team again this season. Five players from last year’s national team championship squad will return, and they’ll be able to share their experience with four new players who are joining the team. Though the new players have limited squash experience at this point, they should learn a great deal between now and the 2011 Women’s National Team Championships (Howe Cup). “The Drexel Women’s team is looking at traveling to a clinic in Cape Cod this season to continue training and improving everyone’s game with hopes of taking the team to the next level,” Shubayeva reports.

There will be another squash player of note at Drexel: the university’s new president, John Fry. The team is looking forward to welcoming Fry, an avid player, to their first home matches on their new courts.

The team will also continue to be involved with SquashSmarts, Philadelphia’s urban squash program. The Dragons have worked with students on the courts and in the classroom, and they’ve also volunteered to drive players to matches on the weekends. SquashSmarts recognized the Drexel women’s efforts by naming them “Volunteers of the Year” last year.

Off the courts, the Dragons are an active and accomplished group. Shubayeva has recently completed her third internship as part of the Drexel program with DuPont Capital management, and nursing student Lauren Schoppet finished her first year of college going three-for-three with terms on the Dean’s List. Queree Kim finished a study abroad program in the south of France this summer and was able to travel around Europe; she’ll also be abroad for the academic year. Rebecca Schaefer completed a Herculean feat: she competed in the 20in24 Back on My Feet LoneRanger Ultramarathon, running for 19 hours and 16 minutes and covering 76.1 miles. The event raised over $250,000 dollars for Back on My Feet, a Philadelphia charity that helps get the homeless off the streets.

“There is bright future that lies ahead for the program,” Shubayeva says, “and the team will continue to work just as hard to get to where it needs to be.”

2009-2010 SEASON RECAP

Season Record: 0-3
Final Ranking: 36
Team Championships: 36th Overall; 4th in the E Division

2010-2011 SEASON PREVIEW

Program Status: Club

Head Coach: Guillermo Moronta

Returning Players from Team Championships: Violetta Shubayeva (Captain), Rebecca Schaefer, Katey Whyte, Lauren Schoppet, and Alyssa Marciano

Graduates on Last Season’s Team Championship Roster: Lauren Silverstone and Joyce Santiago

Additions to the 2010-2011 Roster: Zeba Ahmed, Shauna Moody, Vi Pham, Davila Thompson

Captain:
Violetta Shubayeva

Team Goals: Improve ranking and win division

Key Matches:
Navy, Georgetown, Bates, Haverford, University of Maryland, and Johns Hopkins

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