Men's and women's squash preview: Young Bobcats look to build on success

Sophomores Luca Polgar and Mahmoud Yousry lead the women's and men's squash teams into the 2017-18 season.

LEWISTON, Maine -- The Bates College squash teams went a combined 29-12 last season. This year, the Bobcats are young and they are hungry to continue that success. Both teams begin their seasons Friday at Bowdoin.

Men's Squash Preview

  • 2016-17 record: 14-6, second in the NESCAC, 16th in the country. 
  • 2017-18 preseason College Squash Association rank: No. 16.
  • 2017-18 Roster
  • 2017-18 Schedule

The No. 16 nationally ranked Bobcats lose four-time All-American and 2017 NESCAC Player of the Year Ahmed Hatata '17 and three-time All-NESCAC selection Darrius Campbell '17 to graduation but retain most of the key depth that made them successful last season. 

Sophomore Mahmoud Yousry (Cairo, Egypt) returns after earning 1st Team All-NESCAC honors in 2017. Yousry went 13-5 as a first-year for Bates, playing at the No. 2 through 4 positions. He finished the year playing No. 2 for Bates behind Hatata. Yousry competed at individual nationals and advanced to the quarterfinals of the Molloy West Division. This year he will play at the No. 1 position for the first time in his career. 

The Bobcats' lone senior is co-captain Anirudh Nambiar (Pune, India) who is coming off a 10-7 year playing at the No. 3 and 4 positions. Nambiar was named to the 2017 NESCAC Winter All-Academic and All-Sportsmanship teams. 

Juniors McLeod Abbott (Bronxville, N.Y.) and Coley Cannon (Greenwich, Conn.) are back as well, with Abbott serving as a co-captain with Nambiar.

Abbott posted an 11-6 record playing as high as the No. 7 position for Bates last season. He won his final match of the year, beating his opponent from Franklin & Marshall at the No. 7 position 3-0 at team nationals. 

Cannon tallied a 15-4 record as a sophomore playing at mostly the No. 6 position. He won nine straight matches in the middle of the season for Bates and also won his final match of the year at team nationals, a 3-0 win over his opponent from Franklin and Marshall. Cannon is studying abroad this fall but will return to the lineup in January. 

Sophomore Graham Bonnell (Southport, Conn.) is another key contributor returning to the lineup. He went 14-6 as a first-year playing up and down the lineup between the No. 4 and No. 8 positions, with most of his starts coming at the No. 7 position. Fellow sophomore Garon Rothenberg (Brooklyn, N.Y.) could potentially make a big impact this year after going 3-3 as a first-year, playing up and down the lineup as well for the Bobcats.

Bates welcomes five first-years to the fold this season, led by Omar Attia (Cairo, Egypt), Dylan Muldoon (Devonshire, Bermuda) and Robby Dewey (New Canaan, Conn.). Attia is expected to play in the top five while Muldoon and Dewey will compete for spots in the starting nine as well. 

Women's Squash Preview

  • 2016-17 record: 15-6, third in the NESCAC, 15th in the country. 
  • 2017-18 preseason College Squash Association rank: No. 15.
  • 2017-18 Roster
  • 2017-18 Schedule

The No. 15 nationally ranked Bobcats lose 2016-17 co-captains Emma Dunn '17 and Charlotte Cabot '17 to graduation but return their top four players from a season that saw Bates win its most matches since 2011-12. 

Sophomore Luca Polgar (Budapest, Hungary) earned 1st Team All-NESCAC honors last season as a first-year. She went 19-5 playing mostly at the No. 1 position for Bates. Polgar competed at individual nationals and advanced to the Holleran North Division Semifinals.

Junior Kristyna Alexova (Boskovice, Czech Republic) also earned 1st Team All-NESCAC honors last year. The two-time All-NESCAC selection compiled a record of 16-5, playing at the No. 1 and 2 positions for Bates. Alexova ended her season on a four-match winning streak. She is studying in Washington D.C. this fall but will return to the team in January. 

Junior co-captain Vicky Arjoon (Georgetown, Guyana) earned 2nd Team All-NESCAC honors last season. The two-time All-NESCAC selection competed at the No. 3 position for Bates and finished with a record of 16-8. Arjoon competed at individual nationals and advanced to the Holleran Division East Consolation Semifinals. 

Sophomore co-captain Eliza Dunham (New Haven, Conn.) went 16-5 as a first-year for Bates. She competed mostly at the No. 4 position and won nine consecutive matches from Dec. 3-Feb. 4. Dunham competed at individual nationals and advanced to the Holleran Division West Consolation Semifinals. Dunham won't play this fall but the Bobcats hope to have her back by January.  

The "dynamic duo" of juniors Molly Brooks (Charlottesville, Va.) and Katie Bull (Sudbury, Mass.) will look to build upon their success from a year ago as well.

Brooks went 11-8 as a sophomore playing at the No. 7-9 positions for Bates. She won her first seven matches of the year, including a win against her opponent from eventual NESCAC champion Trinity on Nov. 19. Brooks earned a spot on the 2017 NESCAC Winter All-Academic Team.

Bull went 14-7 as a sophomore while playing at the No. 7 and 8 positions. She won her first five matches of the season including a victory over her opponent from eventual NESCAC champion Trinity on Nov. 19.

Brooks and Bull are studying abroad this fall but the Bobcats can look forward to their return to the lineup in January. 

The women's team features two seniors this year, with Hannah Conner (Groton, Mass.) and Cata Robert (Riverside, Conn.) returning to the squad after not playing last year. 

The Bobcats welcome four first-years to the fold, many of whom will be asked to contribute right away this fall with Alexova, Dunham, Brooks and Bull not on campus until January. Maeve O'Brien (Essex, Conn.) and Katie Manternach (Brooklyn, N.Y.) should help make the top six quite formidable down the stretch for Bates.