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Bates squash teams reload for 2007-08 campaign

Ricky Weisskopf '08 and Sean Wilkinson '08

Margot Webel '09

The 2008 season is shaping up to be another very competitive one for the Bates College men's and women's squash teams, who racked up school-record win totals in 2007, with 20 for the men and 19 for the women. Preseason College Squash Association team rankings bear this out: they have the Bates women ranked 11th and the men's team ranked 12th.

The men's team is headed for the fourth and final year by three-time CSA All-American Ricky Weisskopf, recently returned from a semester studying abroad. Over the summer Ricky made headlines in the squash community by defeating the top-ranked U.S. player, former Yale No. 1 player Julian Illingworth, at the Pan Am Games in Rio de Janeiro. Weisskopf's senior co-captain, Sean Wilkinson, makes for a fearsome 1-2 punch at the top of the Bates lineup, while sophomore Kush Mahan may be an emerging star in his own right. Only two players from last year's team graduated, Gary Kan and Andrew Jacobs.

The Bates women, who finished ranked No. 10 last season, will again be formidable, having lost but two players, Kelsey Engman and Schuyler Haynes, to graduation (Hannah Laverty '10) has taken over the No. 1 spot vacated by Engman).

The Bobcats already have a quartet of 9-0 victories (over George Washington, St. Lawrence, William Smith and Colby) to their credit in the early going. The upcoming weekend will be a major test for the team, with matches against three teams ranked in the top 10 in Dartmouth, Stanford and Williams.

With former head coach John Illig resigning from his position as head coach of men's and women's squash in August to accept a similar position at Middlebury, Bates AD Kevin McHugh made the decision to redefine current staff members' responsibilities for the 2007-08 season, and conduct a full, national search for a permanent head coach once the season is completed.

Marc Kannegieser, who has served as the teams' assistant coach for the past two seasons, will take on the role of coordinator of the men's and women's squash programs. While providing organizational and administrative support for both programs, he will focus his coaching primarily on the men's team. "Marc has graciously agreed to increase his duties considerably," said McHugh.

Wynn Hohlt, the head field hockey coach at Bates who joined the squash program as an assistant coach last season, will support both programs as well, but focus her coaching primarily on the women's team.