May 8, 2012

2012 Men's Squash Award Winners Announced

Yale Squash has announced the winners of its four annual awards, which recognized the efforts and achievements of five Bulldogs in the 2011-12 season. Yale marched to the top of the national rankings following its epic win over 252-time unbeaten Trinity in January, and finished sixth overall at the CSA Team Championships. 

The team honored three seniors, a sophomore, and a freshman. The Bulldogs have also elected now-junior Hywel Robinson captain for the 2012-13 season. 

Senior Samuel Clayman was honored with the John A. Blum '76 Trophy, which is awarded to that member of the Yale Men's Varsity Squash team who has shown the most significant improvement during the season. Clayman played to a 6-8 record this year, predominantly at the No. 8 spot, but came on strong late in the season against crucial Ivy League opponents. The Saybrook College resident's contributions did not only grow this season, but from previous seasons, as he played in just three matches last year (though he did go 3-0), and five the year before (4-1). 

Captain Ryan Dowd and classmate John Roberts shared the John F. Skillman '67 Award, awarded to that member of the varsity team who, in the opinion of the coach, captain and manager, by sportsmanship and determination has done most for Yale Squash during the year. Dowd played to a spectacular 16-4 record this season, including a stellar 11-0 start. Roberts was 9-2 in regular season play, including the high-pressure match-clinching win to make history against Trinity. 

Sophomore Eric Caine was honored with the Steve Gurney Award, given to that player who has achieved great personal growth in the course of the season. Caine posted an 11-3 record, two of them exhibition matches, mostly at the No. 7 and No. 9 positions. The Phillips-Exeter grad played to a 1-1 record in 2010-11. 

The Skillman Associates Award honored freshman Sam Shleifer as the player whose ability and personal achievement is of greatest value to the Yale Men's Squash team. The Davenport College resident played to a 1-1 record this year, including a 3-1 win in his No. 8 match against Columbia. He also posted a 3-0 sweep in an exhibition match against Penn. 

Cain and Shleifer will be crucial cogs as the Bulldogs look to replace a talented senior class including Clayman, Dowd, Roberts and Robert Berner, all of whom were integral parts of Yale's success over the past four years. 

Chelsea Janes '12, Yale Sports Publicity

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