By Anne Bello
Published Oct 14, 2011 at 3:00 PM ET; Updated Oct 13, 2011 at 7:30 PM ET

Middlebury, VT — Ever since Middlebury became a varsity program for the 2007-2008 season, the team has been on an upward trajectory. The Panthers finished last season with a thrilling 5-4 win over Bates at the Men’s National Team Championships, securing the highest finish — 14th in the nation — in program history. With Middlebury College announcing plans to build an $8 million new squash facility, that upward trend is likely to continue.

The Panthers have lost two seniors from their top ten, but they have five new first-year players coming in as well as a number of upperclassmen waiting in the wings. “There is great parity among the incoming freshmen this year,” head coach John Illig reports.  “All five players have an excellent chance at playing in either the middle or bottom third.”

Before the season gets underway, the Middlebury men’s and women’s teams have their annual hiking trip to the Adirondack Mountains to look forward to.

2010-2011 SEASON RECAP

Season Record: 14-11 (Sloane Award winners for team sportsmanship)

Final Ranking: 14

Team Championships: 6th in Hoehn Cup (B Division)

2011-2012 SEASON PREVIEW

Program Status: Varsity

Head Coach: John Illig

Returning Players from Team Championships: (1) Valentin Quan (First Team All-NESCAC), (2) Jay Dolan  (Second Team All-NESCAC), (3) Parker Hurst, (5) Spencer Hurst (NESCAC All-Academic Team), (6) Will Moore, (7) Cooper Redpath, (8) Addi DiSesa (NESCAC All-Academic Team), (9) Chris Ivsin, Trevor Truog, Reeve Waud, Phillip Goldstein, Nick Seshadri

Graduated/Non-returning players from 2010-2011 Team: (4) Brian Cady, (10) Will Piekos (CSA Scholar Athlete, NESCAC All-Sportsmanship Team, NESCAC All-Academic Team)

Additions to the 2011-2012 Roster: Willy Clarke, Robert Galluccio, Will Hanley, Matt Leach, and Reed Palmer

Team Goals:  To establish a solid line-up and play well as a team

Key Matches:  NESCAC schools, Columbia, Drexel, Brown, GW, F&M, St. Lawrence and Navy

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