Rising Washington University Program Hires Mike Puertas As Head Coach

October 24, 2012, St. Louis, MO – The Washington University in St. Louis squash club has named Mike Puertas as its head coach.

The squash team finally has a formal coach, Mike Puertas.  Luke Shapiro, a junior at Wash U, started the squash program two years ago in October, 2010. In 2011, WUSTL won the Hawthorne cup, ending the season ranked at #50. In 2012, the team moved up to the Chaffee cup and finished the season ranked at #37. Coach Puertas hopes to bring the team further up in the rankings in the coming year.

Coach Puertas been playing and teaching squash for almost thirty years. He represented England, Spain (Captain) and the US (Captain) at the international level.   Captain Shapiro stated, “I am ecstatic to have Coach Puertas join us as head coach. He is very dedicated to raising the squash profile in St. Louis. He is also a great coach and will make this team better tactically and physically.”

During his playing career, Coach Puertas reached a world ranking of #30 and won six PSA events. He won Gold, Silver and Bronze medals at the Pan-Am games and was the world over 30’s champion in 1998.  He has held a level 4 professional coaching certificate since 1999 and has coached numerous players from beginner to college level. Puertas coached top female player, Natalie Grainger, and took her from No.16 in the world to No.1. In 2006, he started and coached the US U23 team.

Puertas is one of many coaches making the transition from a professional on the tour to a collegiate coach. Other such coaches include John White (Drexel), Martin Heath (Rochester), and Mark Talbott (Stanford).  “I am very excited at the prospect of coaching and mentoring the student athletes at Washington University”, states Puertas.  “The team has made great strides in its first two years, achieving in spite of a lack of facilities. We now have two converted racquet ball courts to work with and are looking to add to that in the offseason.”

The goal is for squash to transition from club to varsity in the coming years.  Per Puertas, “We are working hard on the court to prove our case as a viable varsity sport at Washington University.  I think that the stature of the university is a perfect fit for squash, as academically it is on par with the finest universities in the country. There is no better addition than squash to put Washington University in a position to compete with Ivy League universities.”

Click here to see the article on the Daily Squash Report.  

Season Preview by CSA

This year looks to be a solid season for the Wash U team.  With no graduating players, many recruits (the team is still finding more squash players hidden at Wash U) and the return of 2 players from abroad, the team looks stronger than ever.  The addition of Coach Puertas and 2 new courts has not hurt either.

Check out the preview here:

http://collegesquashassociation.com/2012/10/20/washington-university-in-st-louis-2012-2013-mens-college-squash-season-preview/

*Note, the coach is Mike Puertas and the club president is Hunter Matthews.

2012-2013 Schedule

This season, the men’s team will be playing the most matches in a season as of yet.  Here is the schedule:

November 3: Matches against Vanderbilt and University of Illinois – Springfield at MICDS (St. Louis, MO)

November 10-11: Matches against Navy, Navy B, Denison, Bucknell and Johns Hopkins at the Naval Academy (Annapolis, Maryland)

January 18-20: Wash U Invitational at MICDS (schools competing to be announced)

February 22-24: Men’s CSA Nationals at Yale University (New Haven, CT)

 

* Please note, other matches can still be added to the schedule.  If interested in a match, contact squash@su.wustl.edu.

Ladder Matches

October 6 was a long and grueling day for the WUSTL squash players.  Each person played an average of 4 matches in a 3 hour time span.  The preliminary ladder was determined for the 2012-2013 season through tournament / round robin style play.  Ladder matches will be happening every week, so the line-up is bound to change.  Here are the results after today:

1) Sheldon
2) Hunter
3) Stirling
4) Lawrence
5) Luke
6) Wonkyu
7) Book
8) Dylan
9) Mark
10) Adam
11) Lyall
12) Trevor

Please note that not all players were present and will be added into the ladder once having played.

WU ranked 37 in nation

The final season rankings have been published.  Wash U made tremendous strides from last year, finishing at 37th and 10th in the nation.  Next year, with the return of players from study abroad and new recruits, the team will only be better.  Thanks to everyone for a great season!

Click here to check out the CSA article: http://collegesquashassociation.com/2012/03/29/dunlop-mens-college-squash-final-2011-2012-team-rankings-by-division/

Nationals: WU beats Kenyon in a close 5-4 match


Play started on Friday night at the University of Pennsylvania against the Bucknell Bisons.  For a while, we thought we were going to win by default, but Bucknell eventually arrived.  After many close matches, Bucknell ended up sweeping.

The next day was the battle of the Washingtons: Wash U in St. Louis vs. University of Washington.  WashU swept U-dub in the first round of matches and clinched the victory in the second round, winning by a score of 6-3.

The final day was the battle for the E-Division Consolation bracket, which would result in a national ranking of 37.  Wash U started up 2-0 because Kenyon only had 7 players.  Kenyon swept the first round and then split the second, making the score 3 all.  In order to win, Wash U would need to win 2 of the last 3 matches.  Hunter and Luke ended up winning their matches, making Wash U the winners.

It was a great weekend overall.  There was lots of great food, including sushi at Pod, homemade chicken parm at the Kurtz’s and some famous Philly cheese steaks from Jims.  A big thank you to all the family and friends, especially the Kurtz’s for allowing the team to stay at their home.  Now, to start training for next year!

Men’s CSA Nationals this Weekend

Wash U’s first match will be against Bucknell at 6 PM at the University of Pennsylvania.  Wash U is the 7th seed while Bucknell is the 2nd seed.

Check out the whole bracket here: http://collegesquashassociation.com/2012/02/14/2012-mens-college-squash-association-national-team-championships-brackets/

Playing in the E-Division is also:

Boston College, Bucknell University, Denison University, Kenyon College,University of California Berkeley, University of Washington, Vassar College

Follow @WashUSquash for updates throughout the tournament.  #GoBears!

Wash U Women to go to Nationals

The Wash U Women’s team will be making entering the Emerging Teams Division at the Women’s College Squash Association’s Nationals held at Harvard University. This is the first time in the history of Wash U that a women’s team will be competing in the tournament.  They enter nationals with a 0-1, suffering a close 3-2 loss to the University of Minnesota.  Under the guidance of the captain Alexa, they hope to capture the division title.

Schedule

With less than a month left in the squash season, Wash U will be doing quite some traveling.

The first match of 2012 is a scrimmage against MICDS this Friday (1/27) afternoon.

February 10-12 is the Northwestern Round Robin.  Specific teams and the schedule will be posted later.

February 17-19 is the College Squash Nationals.