Mullaney leads squash team to success, impressive win streak

BY MARK ROSSMAN ’14
Sports Editor

Ryan Mullaney ’14 has stepped up as a dominant force of the F&M men’s squash team, particularly this season after earning 10 individual wins for the team.

As familiar as Mullaney is now with the sport, this was not always the case. On a whim, Mullaney joined the sport in eighth grade at the Belmont Hill School in Boston, MA.

“I had previously played basketball my whole life and thought squash looked like a crazy and unique sport, so I quit basketball to try it out,” Mullaney said.

Almost immediately, Mullaney was a natural at picking up the sport.

“[My second year playing squash] I was able to improve enough to skip playing for the middle school and ascend to the Varsity level of the high school team,” Mullaney said.

Then, Mullaney became captain of his Varsity team both his junior and senior years of high school, and won the Henry B. Sawyer Sportsmanship Award for his time as captain. In addition, Mullaney earned the prestigious All-League Athlete Award his senior year in 2009.

Mullaney has stepped up this year with a 10-6 individual record. The squash team has had an extraordinary season this year, with an overall record of 15-4.

Until this weekend against Cornell University, the team was in the middle of a particularly impressive 11 match winning streak, 7 of these 11 matches ending in a 9-0 shutout.

Even though the team is doing so well, Mullaney believes there is always room for improvement.

“Whether it be running on the track or practicing shots on the court, every day counts,” Mullaney said. “Our team’s main focus for the next few weeks is to continue working on improving our fitness level while maintaining consistency with our shots. We are training harder and harder every day and we aim to maintain and extend our 11 match win streak into the postseason.”

Mullaney would like to attribute much of his success to the head coach of the F&M squash team, Gavin Jones.

“Our coach, Gavin Jones, has been a great help in steering us in the right direction towards our upcoming goals,” Mullaney said. “He is truly dedicated to the success of our team, and there is no other coach we would rather have leading the way.”

This will be coach Jones’ second season with the men’s and women’s teams. Jones has an immense background in the sport, once ranked No. 37 by the Dunlop/Professional Squash Association’s World Rankings.

Mullaney also attributes success on the courts to having a crowd cheer the team on at the Mayser Center Squash Courts. Mullaney very much appreciates fans coming to the team’s home matches.

“I was particularly pleased with the Greek presence from both the Kappa Sigma and Chi Phi Fraternities during our last home match,” Mullaney said. “The support we received against UPenn was truly a game changer, and a repeat of that could truly give us the edge we need.”

Mullaney has made his presence known on the courts of F&M, and with another season in his F&M career, he is sure to continue to make this presence known.

Questions? Email Mark at mrossman@fandm.edu.

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