By Michael T. Bello
Published Sep 24, 2014 at 7:00 AM ET; Updated Sep 14, 2014 at 12:14 PM ET

Drexel UniversityPhiladelphia, PA — It is hard to believe that Drexel’s varsity squash team only launched in 2011. Since then, the team has been on a meteoric rise. Starting last season, the team was ranked 21st in the nation. During the season, they peaked at 14th, before finishing the season ranked 16th.  With their improvement, it was not a surprise that Drexel was awarded the 2014 Barnaby Award. This season, the team plans to join the top 10 teams in nation.  To achieve that goal, the Dragons will need more wins at the bottom of their order. Last season, the bottom 3 of the ladder captured 36% of their matches, compared to 45% for the middle 3 and 61% for the top 3. The Dragons won 5 of 8 5-4 matches last season. The 7 players returning from the starting 9 at Team Championships can use that valuable experience this season. The team will be joined by four players, three of whom are expected to play in the top 4. This season marks the first graduating class that has played four years of varsity squash at Drexel. According to Head Coach John White, senior Sebastian Dangond, one of the team’s first recruits, “has been a dedicated and important part of the team from the start.” Dangond and fellow senior Harshil Dakonia could hardly have pictured the Dragons’ rise over the course of their collegiate experiences.

2013-2014 SEASON RECAP

Season Record: 11-11

Final Ranking: 16

Team Championships: 8th in the Hoehn Cup

By the Numbers (From US Squash): 5-4 Matches Won: 5 of 8 (Most 5-4 Wins in the National) … Position with the Most Wins: #3s had 14 Wins

2014-2015 SEASON PREVIEW

Program Status: Varsity

Head Coach: John White

Returning Players from Team Championships: 2. Michael Thompson (2017); 3. Mark Kauf (2016); 4. Sebastian Dangond (2015); 6. Nat Fry (2017); 7. Joey Gingold (2016); 9. Harshil Dakonia (2015)

Graduated/Non-Returning Players from Team Championships: 1. Justin Singh (2014); 5. Noel Solomon (2017); 8. Ben Bevan (2014); 10. William Heyman (2014)

Additions to the 2014-2015 Roster:

  • Expected to play in the top 4: Ibrahim Bakir (2016); Atticus Kelly; and Luke Willemse
  • Expected to play in the bottom 3: Cillian Dunne

Captains: Ibrahim Bakir and Mark Kauf

Team Goals:  To finish the season with a top-10 ranking and a winning record

Key Matches: All matches

To read other team previews, please visit the 2014-2015 College Squash Season Previews page.