By Anne Bello
Published Nov 1, 2010 at 7:00 AM ET; Updated Oct 31, 2010 at 10:34 PM ET

Cambridge, MA — The 2009-2010 season will be a hard one to top for the Harvard women. The Crimson went undefeated last season, taking the national and Ivy titles along the way. But with all but two players from their varsity ladder returning, the 2010-2011 Crimson squad should be a formidable one.

Harvard will miss its two captains from last season, Katherine O’Donnell and Johanna Snyder, along with the other now-graduated senior from last season’s team, Sandra Mumanachit. Snyder was a 2010 All-American, O’Donnell won the Holleran Cup (B Division) at Individuals, and both were consistent performers in the bottom half of the Crimson’s lineup.

Even without Snyder and O’Donnell, the Crimson have remarkable depth. To put it in perspective, Bethan Williams, who played number 9 last season for the Crimson, was a 2008-2009 All-American; the Crimson roster has All-American and All-Ivy players from top to bottom. And then there’s Harvard’s number 1, Laura Gemmell, who dropped a total of three games all season long, going undefeated and winning the women’s individual title. The Crimson will also be joined by two first-year players: Natasha Anzik, who was ranked third U19 in Ontario last year, and Leila Shayegan, who captained Lawrenceville’s team last season. Groton’s Georgiana Brinkley will also join the team. Three-time All-American Alisha Mashruwala will lead the squad as captain.

The biggest change for the program, however, will be the head coach. Satinder Bajwa’s contract was not renewed after last season, and he will be replaced by Mike Way, who has been named the first Gregory Lee ’87 and Russell Ball ’88 Endowed Coach for Squash. Way comes to Harvard from Canada’s National Squash Training Centre, which he helped create and where he served as head coach.

With everything from a national title to a training and service trip to India, 2009-2010 will be a tough act to follow, but the Crimson are up for the challenge.

2009-2010 SEASON RECAP

Season Record: 12-0
Final Ranking: 1
Team Championships/Conference: 1st Over All; 1st in Howe Cup (A Division); Ivy League Champions; Barhite Award Winners

2010-2011 SEASON PREVIEW

Program Status: Varsity

Head Coach: Mike Way (Succeeds Satinder Bajwa)

Returning Players from Team Championships: Cece Cortes (7); Laura Gemmell (1; Ramsay Cup winner; 1st Team All-American; All-Ivy League Team; Ivy League Player of the Year; Ivy League Rookie of the Year;); Nirasha Guruge (2; 2nd Team All-American; All-Ivy League Team); Natasha Kingshott (5); Alisha Mashruwala (4; 2nd Team All-American); Sarah Mumanachit (10); June Tiong (3; 2nd Team All-American); Bethan Williams (9);

Graduates on Last Season’s Team Championships Roster: Katherine O’Donnell (8; 2009-2010 Captain; Holleran Cup winner); Hannah Snyder (6; 2nd Team All-American; 2009-2010 Captain)

Additions to the 2010-2011 Roster: Natasha Anzik and Leila Shayegan [and Georgiana Brinkley?]

Captain: Alisha Mashruwala

Team Goals: To win the Ivy League and CSA national titles

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