Jan. 23, 2014
ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Having played just twice since the turn of the calendar, the 14th-ranked Navy squash team will make its way to New Haven, Conn. this weekend to face four opponents in a round robin played on the campus of Yale University. The Mids open play on Friday evening against No. 19 Middlebury (7:30 pm), before facing 13th-ranked Bates (1:00 pm) and third-ranked Yale (4:30 pm) in back-to-back matches on Saturday. Navy will conclude the weekend on Sunday with a 9:00 am match against No. 24 Colby.
After putting together a 9-2 mark in the first half of the season, the Mids have split their two matches in the month of January. Top-ranked Trinity dealt Navy a 9-0 loss, but the Mids regrouped and put together a solid effort against 20th-ranked George Washington in a 9-0 victory last week.
Junior Jim Kacergis (Malvern, Pa.) and sophomore Mitch Bottini (New Hamburg, N.Y.) are pacing the team with identical 12-1 records. Kacergis played the first half of the season at No. 2, but pushed past classmate Andrew McGuinness (Merion Station, Pa.) for the top spot on the ladder where he is 1-1. Kacergis, along with McGuinness, stand 19th on Navy’s win list under Craig Dawson with 52-career victories.
Bottini, meanwhile, played the No. 4 position for most of the season, but recently pushed up in the lineup to No. 3. Posting a 39-7 record in his two seasons, he owns the best winning percentage (.848) among Dawson-coached players.
Senior team captain Hunter Beck (Lafayette Hill, Pa.) stands 8-4 this season and is looking to add to his career total of 62 wins which is tied for 10th under Dawson’s watch alongside Gavin Morrison (2001-05).
In addition to Kacergis and Bottini, juniors John Hsu (Jackson Heights, N.Y.) and McGuinness have reached double digit wins this winter with 10.
Navy owns winning records against three of its four weekend opponents, including a commanding 22-1 mark against Colby. The Mids’ lone loss in the series was a 6-3 loss at West Point in 1998. Navy holds a narrow 12-10 edge against Bates with 17 of the 22 matches played at a neutral site (8-9). Bates has won 10 of the last 13 matches including two straight 5-4 decisions. Middlebury and Navy have met just three times with the Mids taking two of the three matches. Middlebury won the inaugural meeting, 5-4, in December of 2011, but Navy has won each of the last two, including an 8-1 victory a year ago. Yale, meanwhile, has put together a 40-8 mark against the Mids, including a 22-2 record in matches played at Yale. The Bulldogs have won 29 straight against Navy and has given up just one match at home to the Mids in the last seven meetings.
Middlebury enters the weekend with a 5-5 record, Bates is 8-2, Yale is 7-1 and Colby is 3-8.
### Go Navy ###