Chris Murphy reports on Bucknell University’s plans for new courts. Several schools, including Bard, Bucknell, Middlebury, and Virginia are in the process of building new courts.
Lewisburg, PA – The Bucknell University men’s and women’s club squash teams have been among the nation’s fastest-developing programs over the last few years. Since the beginning of 2010, the men’s club squad has risen from 56th in the national rankings to 34th in the final 2011-12 rankings. At the College Squash Association National Team Championships, Bucknell captured the Serues Cup in 2011 and was runner-up in the Chaffee Cup competition this past season. Interest in squash has never been higher, with the number of men on the Bucknell club roster increasing from five in 2008 to fifteen this year.
The Bucknell women’s squash club was launched in 2010 and has also started to make its mark. The program’s very first match came against George Washington and was followed by close competitions against established teams in Johns Hopkins and Virginia. The highlight of the inaugural season was a sweep of Vanderbilt, which won the 2010 Emerging Teams Division at the National Team Championships.
The sport’s swell in popularity has not just been limited to the club teams, but to the Bucknell community as well. Recreational squash play has drastically increased at Gerhard Fieldhouse, and numerous supporters of the sport from across the country have recognized the importance of developing the Bucknell club programs. This resulted in the inaugural Students Versus Alumni/Supporters Tournament event at the University Club in New York City on April 26th, 2o12. The event was a huge success, with the students escaping with a 5-4 victory over the alumni side. With approximately 60 people in attendance, including Peter Lasusa, Jr., Board Chair of US Squash, it was announced that Bucknell will be re-purposing some existing court space in Gerhard Fieldhouse in order to construct four new international squash courts. The squash facility is expected to be completed late this summer, in time for the 2012-13 season.
The Bucknell men’s and women’s squash clubs are both striving to break into the top 30 in the national rankings, and future fundraising goals include building endowments for both programs. If those aspirations come to fruition, Bucknell can become a mainstay on the college squash scene.