Nov. 1, 2013
ANNAPOLIS, Md. — The Navy squash team will take its first steps toward winning the CSA Team Championship as well as its quest for a eighth 20-win season under 14th-year head coach Craig Dawson when the Midshipmen open the 2013-14 season on Friday. Navy will face host Cal on Friday at 6:00 pm PT / 9:00 pm ET before facing Stanford on Saturday at 11:00 am PT / 2:00 pm ET.
The Mids are coming off a season that saw them place 15th at the CSA Team Championship and post a 25-9 record, the program’s fifth-consecutive 20-win season. Gone from that team are three players who graduated in May after having contributed to the ladder last season, including Hunter Bouchard and John Richey, the team’s No. 4 and 7 players, respectively. Richey was one of the most successful players during Dawson’s tenure, becoming only the third player in program history to win 90-plus matches over his career (92-32).
Navy, however, has six letterwinners returning, including its top three players on the ladder. Among them are juniors Andrew McGuinness (Merion Station, Pa.) and Jim Kacergis (Malvern, Pa.), who have been the Mids’ No. 1 and 2 players since arriving in Annapolis as Plebes. McGuinness owns a 41-22 career record and turned in a 22-11 mark a year ago. McGuinness dealt Kacergis a 3-1 loss in last week’s Barb Tournament and will assume the No. 1 position in this weekend’s opener. Kacergis, meanwhile, began last season as the No. 1 player before closing out at the No. 2 spot. He recorded a 19-13 record last winter and holds a 38-20 career mark.
Sophomores Mitch Bottini (New Hamburg, N.Y.) and Bill Kacergis (Malvern, Pa.) paced the Mids a year ago with 27 wins apiece. It was tied as the second-most wins in a season by a player during Dawson’s tenure. Bottini, who battled junior Colin Barry (St. Louis, Mo.) in a hard-fought Barb Tournament match, will jump from No. 8 to No. 4 in the lineup, while Kacergis will start the season at the No. 7 slot.
Senior team captain Hunter Beck (Lafayette Hill, Pa.) generated a 12-12 mark a year ago and will open the year at No. 6, while Barry will play the No. 3 spot after posting a 16-7 record last season. Junior John Hsu (Jackson Heights, N.Y.) saw most of his competition a year ago at the No. 10 exhibition spot but managed a 9-1 record among the matches he played in among the top 9. He will be in the lineup this weekend, likely at the No. 8 position.
While the Mids have plenty of experience returning to the lineup, the newcomers have already laid claim to a handful of spots on the ladder by way of Barb Tournament. Newcomer Reed Whitney (Ladue, Mo.), who will play the No 5 spot, continues the tradition of St. Louis-area players representing the Academy. Justin Langan emerged his senior year (‘10), while Colin Barry also hails from St. Louis and has put together a 38-13 record heading into his third season. Meanwhile, Randy Beck (Lafayette Hill, Pa.) scored a Barb Tournament victory over fellow rookie Will Walker (Scarborough, N.Y.) to earn the No. 9 spot on the ladder. Beck is the younger brother of the Mids’ team captain.
The Midshipmen own a combined 21-0 record against Cal (11-0) and Stanford (10-0). The last time Navy faced Cal was on Halloween of 2008 when the Mids scored a 9-0 sweep in Berkeley. Meanwhile, Navy and Stanford last met on Jan. 9, 2011, when the Cardinal and Mids battle in San Francisco with Navy earning a 9-0 victory.
### Go Navy ###