By Anne Bello
Published Oct 29, 2010 at 3:00 PM ET; Updated Oct 28, 2010 at 11:04 PM ET

Nashville, TN — Vanderbilt finished the 2009-2010 season with a winning record and the F Division title. Vandy now looks to move back into the top of the E Division or challenge for a place in the bottom half of the D Division.

While the Commodores lost three players to graduation last season, they will gain four new players. Sophomore Tommy Matthews will return to the team after taking a semester off; Matthews mostly played number 8 for Vandy last fall. Three first-year players will also be joining the team: Chestnut Hill’s Dylan Tracy, Lower Merion’s Bert Van Der Hooff, and Dylan Scott.

Seniors Tyler Kopp and Austin Schiff will lead the team as captains. Kopp is studying abroad for the fall semester, and Schiff already has some playing experience behind him this season. Schiff represented Vanderbilt at the recent CSA Midwest Singles Tournament in Chicago. According to coach Max Franklin, Schiff  “played on the outdoor US Open court prior to the finals, then hit around with students from MetroSquash and other local juniors before the pro matches.” Schiff ended up finishing third in the tournament.

Franklin says that Schiff’s participation in the tournament was part of Vanderbilt’s larger goals. “While an exciting opportunity for Austin, this is also part of Vandy trying to grow our Midwest connection as well as our Southeast connection.”

The team has actively been part of the growing squash scene in the Southeast. The Commodores have participated in the SESRA round robin in Atlanta for the past three seasons and plan to compete there again this season. “New programs Tulane, Sewanee, College of Charleston, among others, have emerged out of this event,” Franklin explains. “The SESRA round robin would love to host any collegiate teams as the premier squash event for all college squash in the Southeast.”

Among the teams’ other plans this season are trips to the Navy Round Robin, Kenyon, and Drexel. Last year the team worked with students from StreetSquash on their trip to New York City, and they are planning on a similar weekend with SquashSmarts when they head to Philadelphia. Alladin Mitha, a squash pro in Louisville, will come to Vanderbilt for coaching clinics with both the men’s and women’s teams.

One of the most exciting developments this season is that Vanderbilt will host its first-ever home match, against Sewanee.

2009-2010 SEASON RECAP

Season Record: 7-6
Final Ranking: 40
Team Championships: 41st Overall; 1st in Serues Cup (F Division)

2010-2011 SEASON PREVIEW

Program Status: Club

Returning Players from Team Championships: Angus Aronstein (9); John Hamilton (10); Zachary Hoyt (5); Amos Kendall (7); Michael Kofsky (1); Tyler Kopp (3); Austin Schiff (6)

Graduates on Last Season’s Team Championships Roster: Duncan Aronstein (8); Hunter Kinsella (2; 2009-2010 Captain); Jay Rosanelli (4; 2009-2010 Captain)

Additions to the 2010-2011 Roster:
Tommy Matthews, Dylan Tracy, Bert Van Der Hooff, and Dylan Scott

Captains: Austin Schiff and Tyler Kopp

Team Goals: Return to the top of E division or challenge for bottom of D division; maintain ranking as top club team in the South; build relationship among schools in the midwest

Key Matches: Kenyon, Drexel, UVA, Georgetown, SESRA round robin, Sewanee

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