Mids to Face Columbia in CSA Team Championship Opener
Feb. 16, 2012
ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- The 11th-ranked Navy squash team will face No. 14 Columbia Friday at 1:30 pm in its quest to win the Hoehn Cup at the 2012 College Squash Association Team Championship held this weekend in Princeton, N.J. Joining the Mids in the Hoehn Division are Bates, Brown, Columbia, Middlebury, Penn, St. Lawrence and Williams, who are vying for the No. 9-16 positions in the tournament.
The Mids enter this weekend's team championship having enjoyed the program's eighth 20-win season and the sixth under 12th-year head coach Craig Dawson. At 21-6, Navy has once again proven itself as one of the top teams in the country.
Among the seven other teams competing in the Hoehn Division, Navy has betean three of them - St. Lawrence (6-3), Columbia (7-2) and Bates (7-2) - this season, while dropping 5-4 decisions to three others - Middlebury, Penn, Williams. The only team in the division the Mids did not play this season was Brown, who owns an 8-5 series advantage against the Mids.
Five players on the Mids' nine-man ladder will be making their first appearance at the CSA Team Championship, including senior team captain John Tracey (Owings Mills, Md.). Tracey plays the No. 7 slot for the Mids and has put together a 16-8 record in his final season. He is one of the most successful players who has seen action during Dawson's 12 years at the Academy in terms of winning percentage, having won 81.7 percent (49-11) of the matches he's played over the last four seasons.
The other four players making their debut at the championship are from the freshman class, who play four of the top five spots on the ladder. Andrew McGuinness (Merion Station, Pa.) has played the No. 1 position for the Mids the entire season where he has amassed a 15-9 record. Meanwhile, newcomer Hunter Abrams (Wilmington, Del.) has pushed up to the No. 2 position over the last couple of weeks where he recorded a 2-2- mark. On the year, he boasts a 14-2 record, winning 14 in a row before falling to Western Ontario's Albert Shoihet, 3-0, on Feb. 4.
Rookie Jim Kacergis (Malvern, Pa.) is just two wins shy of the elusive 20-win milestoen. He has produced an 18-5 record on the year, including a 12-5 mark at the No. 3 spot where he will play this weekend. Finally, freshman Colin Barry (St. Louis, Mo.) is the lone player on the roster to win 20 matches this season. At 20-5, he has provided a spark for the Midshipmen in the middle of the lineup. He was recently named the CSA National Player of the Week following a 3-2 victory over Kale Wilson to help clinch the Mids' first win in program history over then ninth-ranked Western Ontario.
Junior Hunter Bouchard (Greenville, Del.) flip-flopped positions with Hunter Abrams and since moving into the No. 4 slot, he has flourished. Bouchard, who owns a 15-10 record, has won each of his last three matches, including a 3-1 victory over Alex Arjoon last week in what was Navy's lone win over Franklin & Marshall.
Junior Billy Abrams (Wilmington, Del.) has dropped just two matches this season en route to a 17-2 record as the Mids' No. 6 player. He, along with Bouchard, is one of the most experienced in terms of past trips to the CSA Team Championship. Abrams is just 1-5 in the tournament, while Bouchard has proven to be solid at the championship with a 4-2 mark.
Both John Richey (West Hartford, Conn.) and Hunter Beck (Lafayette Hill, Pa.) have also played in the CSA Team Championship. Richey, who occupies the No. 8 slot on the ladder with an 18-5 season record, owns a 2-4 mark in past championships, while Beck, a sophomore, put together a 1-2 record at last year's championship and heads into the weekend with a 16-5 mark this season.
Navy owns a 21-0 record against first-round opponent Columbia, however, the Lions became a varsity program just a year ago and have already become a team to take notice of with a No. 14 ranking. The Lions enter the weekend with a 5-9 record which features a five-match skid. Among those five matches (Williams, Harvard, Dartmouth, Penn, Princeton), Columbia managed wins in just four singles matches.
Navy will face either No.10 Williams or No. 15 Brown on Saturday as the tournament progresses. Should Navy defeat Columbia in the opening round, Saturday's second-round match would begin at 12:00 pm, however a loss would send the Mids to the consolation bracket for a 9:00 am match.
Hoehn Division (No. 9-16)
Rk. School In 2011-12 All-Time Series 9 Penn Penn, 5-4 Penn Leads, 43-27 10 Williams Williams, 5-4 Navy Leads, 31-21 11 Navy 12 St. Lawrence Navy, 6-3 Navy Leads, 4-2 13 Middlebury Middlebury, 5-4 Middlebury Leads, 1-0 14 Columbia Navy, 7-2 Navy Leads, 21-0 15 Brown --- Brown Leads, 8-5 16 Bates Navy, 7-2 Navy Leads, 12-8
Navy's Projected Lineup Pos Player 2012 Career CSA Team Championship Record 1 Andrew McGuinness 15-9 15-9 0-0 2 Hunter Abrams 14-2 14-2 0-0 3 Jim Kacergis 18-5 18-5 0-0 4 Hunter Bouchard 15-10 63-26 4-2 5 Colin Barry 20-5 20-5 0-0 6 Billy Abrams 17-2 52-22 1-5 7 John Tracey 16-8 49-11 0-0 8 John Richey 18-5 66-22 2-4 9 Hunter Beck 16-5 39-12 1-2