LANCASTER, Pa. – Led by an experienced junior class and a group of freshmen ready to fight for spots in the ladder, Franklin & Marshall's men's squash team is hoping to conjure up a winning combination that will allow the Diplomats to reclaim its position as one of the sport's top programs.
The season opens at home on Sunday when F&M welcomes No. 17 Virginia to Mayser for a 12:30 p.m. showdown.
To watch a season preview video with seventh-year head coach Gavin Jones, click here.
F&M features just one senior on its young roster in Jackson McCord, who is returning to the team in the second half after studying abroad in the fall. A total of nine players are welcomed back into the fold, to go along with a four-member freshman class.
Each first year is expected to contribute and is highlighted by Sanjay Jeeva who is vying for a top position on the ladder.He comes to Lancaster from Belgium with a distinguished pedigree as the No. 1 ranked U19 player in Europe.
A trio of junior captains will be looked upon to provide leadership to the team both on and off the court while anchoring the lineup. Soom won seven matches last year at the No. 2 position in the order while Samm Fulton generated seven victories after seeing time between No.'s 3-5. Murray was also named a captain for the squad and is looking to break the lineup as a regular for the first time in his career.
Abbas is hoping to build off a solid first-year campaign that resulted in an 8-10 record, playing primarily in the No. 3 spot, and a three-match winning streak to end the season.
F&M enters the 2017-18 season at the No. 15 spot in the Dunlop Men's College Squash Association preseason team rankings. The poll of varsity coaches features Trinity College at No. 1, followed by Harvard (No. 2) and St. Lawrence (No. 3).
The Road Ahead
Following their opening weekend, the Diplomats head to the inaugural Pennsylvania Cup, which is set to take place in Philadelphia on Saturday, Nov. 11th, starting play off with a match for against No. 5 Penn. at 11:00 a.m.
Key matchups include home contests against No. 8 Princeton on Nov. 18 and No. 9 Yale on Dec. 2, while the Diplomats wrap up the season in Mayser against No. 14 Navy on Feb. 11.
The men's CSA Team Championships will be hosted by Trinity and are set for Feb. 23-25. George Washington will be the site of the CSA Individual Championships for both the men's and women's squads and will take place from March 2-4.
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