Jeffs Coming Off Highest Win Total Since 1997

Season Outlook
Back at the helm of the Amherst men’s squash team is head coach Peter Robson, who has led the Lord Jeffs to more than 250 wins in his 24 seasons with the program. Last year’s Amherst squad finished with a national ranking of 19, having placed third in the Summers Cup (C Division) at the CSA National Team Championships. Coming off a 14-9 season, the Jeffs are ranked 21st in the Dunlop Men’s College Squash Preseason Team Rankings.

Steve Severson '12 had Amherst's highest winning percentage during the 2010-11 season (.737).

Last year’s 14-9 record marked Amherst’s highest win total since the Lord Jeffs posted a 14-4 mark during the 1996-97 season, as the Jeffs joined an elite group of only seven teams to win at least 14 matches during Robson’s 24-year tenure. Amherst lost its top three players to graduation, but Robson is excited about this year’s group and believes the Jeffs can work their way back into the Hoehn Cup (B Division), where they last competed in 2009.

This Year’s Team
The Lord Jeffs will need several players to step into leading roles after losing four of their top six to graduation. Andrew Kriete ’11, Brian Warner ’11 and Kevin Cecala ’11 formed a solid 1-2-3 combination in the top third, while Tom Rapisarda ’11 competed in the No. 6 hole. Kriete earned an All-NESCAC selection as a senior, while the Class of 2011 posted an even 42-42 record in its four years.

The Class of 2012 is coming off an extremely successful season, but this year’s seniors will need to play a more prominent role after holding down the bottom half of the lineup a year ago. Highlighting the group is co-captain Steve Severson ’12, who competed primarily at No. 5 for the Lord Jeffs as a junior. Severson posted a 3-0 record at the CSA Championships to finish at 14-5 for the season, marking the highest winning percentage on the team (.737).

Todd Lavine ’12 and Matt Arnold ’12 were also unbeaten at last year’s CSA Championships, as they formed an impressive one-two punch at No. 8 and No. 9 in the lineup. Arnold led last year’s Amherst team in wins (16-7), while Lavine—the team’s second captain—wrapped up his junior season with a 14-9 record. Rounding out the senior class is Zach Porges ’12, who just missed out on cracking the top-9 last season but should play more of a role in 2012.

Charles Loesch-Quintin '13 has been a regular at the top of Amherst's lineup since his rookie season.

Representing the Class of 2013 are Charles Loesch-Quintin and Nick Sorrentino. Loesch-Quintin has been a regular at the top of the lineup since his first year with the team, playing at No. 2 during his rookie season before competing at No. 4 a year ago. The sophomore class consists of David Kerr and Rodrigo Quan, with Kerr standing out as a first-year by winning all three of his CSA Team Championship matches at No. 7.

Amherst lost a lot of talent to graduation, but Coach Robson is excited about his first-year players, who have shown significant promise thus far at practice. Joining the Lord Jeffs from the Class of 2015 are Jake Albert, Scott DeSantis, Max Kardon, Peter Mack, Alex Southmayd and Emmett Knowlton.

The Schedule
Highlighting the 2011-12 schedule are the CSA Individual Championships, which Amherst will host Friday-Sunday, Mar. 2-4. The Lord Jeffs are eager to share their new scoreboards and maple-floor courts with the rest of the collegiate squash world, as more than 100 of the country’s best men’s and women’s players will be on campus for the national tournaments.

The 2011-12 season begins Wednesday, Nov. 30 with a match at Vassar, and the Jeffs will get their first shot at a national powerhouse when they travel to take on fifth-ranked Harvard on Dec. 3. Amherst’s most pivotal stretch begins with the Jan. 14 contest against Bates, as the Jeffs will get to see where they stack up when they play 10 matches in a span of 15 days against teams ranked between 13-27.

January will conclude with showdowns against Williams and Wesleyan for the Little Three title, after which the Jeffs will take part in the NESCAC and CSA Championships at Trinity and Princeton, respectively. Amherst was able to make a strong late-season push in 2011, posting a 2-1 record in each of its final two tournaments to close out the year with an 8-3 record in its last 11 matches.