LANCASTER, Pa. – Last season's Franklin & Marshall women's squash team showed remarkable improvement from year's past, finishing with its highest ranking (No. 15) since 2012, and the least amount of losses (9-9 overall) since 2006-07. With the top-five remaining intact, expectations are set on at least a top-12 finish.
The road to achieving that goal begins on Saturday, when the Diplomats travel to Drexel, facing off against the host Dragons at 11:00 a.m., before a matchup with Virginia at 2:30 p.m.
To watch a season preview video, featuring fifth-year head coach Gavin Jones, click here.
F&M made a return to the Kurtz Cup (B Division) at the Collegiate Squash Association (CSA) Team Championships last year for the first time since 2013, where the Diplomats battled hard, but fell in a pair of matchups.
Four seniors were lost to graduation, including Katherine Perry, who accumulated seven wins from the No. 5-8 spots in the order. However, this season's squad appears to be the most talented in Jones' tenure at F&M, with 10 returners being welcomed back into the mix and a three-member freshmen class expected to battle for spots in the top nine.
Sherilyn Yang – So.
Dulakshi Elikewela – Jr.
Lauren Johnston – So.
Fiona Murphy – Jr.
Emily Caldwell – Sr.
Andreina Benedith – So.
Following a strong first year in Lancaster, Yang (8-9 overall) returns to lead the Diplomats at the top of the order. Last season, she became the first Diplomat under Jones to earn a spot in the Ramsay Division (Women's A Draw) at the CSA Individual Championships. Elikewela (9-11 overall) and Johnston (10-9 overall) also represented F&M at the CSA's, with both taking part in the Holleran Division (Women's B Draw).
Murphy went a combined 4-3 last year between No.'s 1-2 while Emily Caldwell was 5-5 between No.'s 3-4. Benedith finished her freshman year with a 7-10 overall record, playing mostly between No.'s 4-5. Frias Gonzalez helped anchor the back of the lineup, totaling a 9-6 mark, competing anywhere between No.'s 7-9.
The Road Ahead
Following the opening weekend at Drexel, F&M goes three weeks without competing, next taking the court against Bowdoin for its home opener on Saturday, Nov. 21.
Key matchups including a home competition against Yale on Saturday, Dec. 5, a road meeting with defending champion Harvard on Sunday, Jan. 24, and the last contest of the season at Mayser, when Cornell comes to town on Saturday, Feb. 13.
The CSA Team Championships are scheduled for Feb. 26-28 at Yale, while the CSA Individual Championships will take place from March 4-6, hosted by Chelsea Piers in Stamford, Conn.
A new feature to this year's schedule is the "Add to Calendar" button, which allows fans to sync new events and updates directly in their Google, Exchange, Yahoo, Outlook, ICal and additional calendars.
Look for the icon below, which can be accessed at the top-right of the 2015-16 women's squash schedule when viewed on your computer, or bottom-left of all schedules on your mobile device.
Follow Along (Social Media)
All of your favorite Diplomat athletic teams are available on social media. Follow them on Twitter, like them on Facebook and Instagram and subscribe to the Diplomats YouTube page for frequent highlight videos of games throughout the season.
All home contests are streamed, free of charge, which can be found here.