By Anne Bello
Published Sep 21, 2012 at 7:00 AM ET; Updated Sep 8, 2012 at 8:05 PM ET

Minneapolis, MN — Minnesota sent a team to the Women’s National Team Championships for the first time last season, and the Golden Gophers finished third in the Emerging Teams Division. Enthusiasm for squash is high in the Twin Cities, and by next season the team will have nine international courts to train on. Fielding a squad for the Emerging Teams shouldn’t be an issue. The team has a solid core of returners and will run an intramural league that will likely attract new players. The challenge for Minnesota is finding matches in the region. While there are opportunities for men’s teams in the Midwest to compete, there are fewer women’s teams. Wash U in St. Louis competed in the Emerging Teams last year, and Notre Dame may field a team again this year, so both are possible opponents. Head coach John Stever is a realist: “Expanding to a nine-player team is on the agenda but isn’t practical until there are other teams with that many players.” Ideally, the team would compete at the Jester’s event in Chicago in the fall if other women’s teams are available. Minnesota is also encouraging women’s teams to participate in their round robin in Madison, WI, in early February. Though there are short-term challenges, Stever is excited about the future of Minnesota squash. “Join this year and get started now,” he tells prospective players, “because next year, with nine courts, this program will take off!”

2011-2012 SEASON RECAP

Season Record: 2-2

Final Ranking: 41

Team Championships: 3rd in the Emerging Teams

2012-2013 SEASON PREVIEW

Program Status: Emerging Club

Head Coach: John Stever

Returning Players from Team Championships: 1. Paige Carlson; 2. Andrea Belgrade;  4. Christina Kramarevsky; 5. Theresa Muench; 6. Brenna Schmitt

Graduated/Non-Returning Players from 2011-2012 Team Championships: 3. Sandra Rellier; Courtney Shutte

Team Goals: To find matches

To read other team previews, please visit the 2012-2013 College Squash Season Previews page.