By Michael T. Bello
Published Sep 26, 2016 at 7:00 AM ET; Updated Sep 25, 2016 at 10:53 PM ET

Rochester, University of Rochester, NY — Last season, Rochester almost captured the Potter Cup (national title). The Yellowjackets fell just short, losing 4-5 to Yale, but achieved their best finish, #2 ranking, in their program’s 58-year history. Not to be outdone individually, Rochester’s Mario Yanez and Ryosei Kobayashi met in the Pool Trophy (individual championship) semifinal, with Kobayashi becoming the first Yellowjacket to play for the individual national championship. This season, Rochester returns 3 of their 4 All-Americans from last season. Head coach Martin Heath, last season’s Liberty League Coach of the Year, wants to regain the league crown. After six consecutive titles, the Yellowjackets have dropped the past two titles to rival St. Lawrence. With the Liberty League being represented in the Potter Cup final by St. Lawrence in 2015 and Rochester in 2016, Heath reminds fans that “There is life beyond the Ivies and NESCACs.” Despite the graduation of two players from last season, the Yellowjackets have three talented freshmen who will be in the mix for positions in the ladder. If captains Kobayashi and Tomotaka Endo can bring the newcomers into the fold, watch for Rochester to be in the mix for the national title again this season.

2015-2016 SEASON RECAP

Season Record: 11-4

Final Ranking: 2

Team Championships: 2nd in the Potter Cup (A Division)

By the Numbers (From US Squash): 5-4 Matches Won: 3 of 6… Top 3 Win%: .822… Middle 3 Win%: .778… Lower 3 Win%: .600…

2016-2017 SEASON PREVIEW

Program Status: Varsity

Head Coach: Martin Heath (Liberty League Coach of the Year)

Returning Players from Team Championships: 1. Mario Yanez (2017 – MCSA First Team All-American; Liberty League All-League Team); 2. Ryosei Kobayashi (2017 – Liberty League All-League Team; Liberty League All-Academic; MCSA First Team All-American); 4. Tomotaka Endo (2018 – Liberty League All-League Team; Liberty League All-Academic; MCSA Second Team All-American); 5. Lawrence Kuhn (2019 – Liberty League Honorable Mention); 6. Aria Fazelimanesh (2017); 7. Michelangelo Bertocchi (2018 – Liberty League All-Academic); 8. Benjamin Pitfield (2018 – Liberty League All-Academic); 10. Rodrigo Porras (2019); 11. Christian Riedelsheimer (2017);

Graduated/Non-Returning Players from Team Championships: 3. Neil Cordell (2016 – Liberty League All-League Team; Liberty League All-Academic; MCSA Second Team All-American; CSA Scholar Athlete); 9. Meng Xiaomin (2016 – Liberty League All-Academic);

Additions to the 2016-2017 Roster:

  • Expected to play in the top 5: Ricardo Lopez
  • Expected to play in the top 9: Matthew Toth and Alexander Riedelsheimer

Captains: Ryosei Kobayashi and Tomotaka Endo

Team Goals: Win the Liberty League title and finish in the top-3 nationally

Key Matches: St. Lawrence, Trinity, Harvard, Penn and Yale

To read other team previews, please visit the 2016-2017 College Squash Season Previews page.