By Anne Bello
Published Sep 24, 2011 at 2:00 PM ET; Updated Sep 19, 2011 at 6:05 PM ET

Springfield, IL — The University of Illinois Springfield will make the jump into nine-player competition this season after competing as an emerging team. All the players from last season will be returning, and the team is busy recruiting first-year players to continue to build the program.

“We have a tight knit and dedicated squash team.  Four of our players are returning for their third season, and four are returning for their second season,” says John Tienken,  who played number 1 for the Prairie Stars last season. “We think it is a testament to our program that all players will be returning for this upcoming season, and we hope the trend continues.” Charlie Dobson will take over as captain from Tienken, and Jamaal Hollins will serve as co-captain. Karen Willard joins the program as an adviser.

“Although we are a new and young team, we are tenacious,” says Tienken. “We are working hard to win individually and collectively as a team.”

2010-2011 SEASON RECAP

Season Record: 0-8

Final Ranking: 63

Team Championships: 4th in Emerging Teams

2011-2012 SEASON PREVIEW

Program Status: Club

Head Coach: Karen Willard

Returning Players from Team Championships: (1) John Tienken, (2) Charlie Dobson, (3) Carson Buss, (4) Jamaal Hollins, (5) Justen Pardo, (6) Andrew Rice, (7) Justin Keenan, (8) Josh Eastby

Graduated/Non-returning players from 2010-2011 Team: None

Captains: Charlie Dobson and Jamaal Hollins

Team Goals: To win division at the Men’s National Team Championships; to grow as players and as a team

Key Matches: Illinois (Urbana-Champaign)

To read other team previews, please visit the 2011-2012 College Squash Season Previews page.