The Student News Site of Chatham University


The Student News Site of Chatham University


The Student News Site of Chatham University


Squash salvages season without coach

Chatham Athletics
Sebastian Antonio Vaca Sanchez ‘26 swings racket at ball.

This season for the squash teams could not have gone as the team imagined. 

The teams’ coach, Chris Fernadez, left the University at the end of August, right before the season began, and the teams functioned the rest of the year without a replacement. The squash teams arranged group and individual practices on their own with assistance in travel by volunteer assistant coaches from other teams. One coach in particular, Asser Ibrahim, has played a major role in supporting the team through its season. 

“This spring, [Ibrahim] has been helping us tremendously,” Jared Nalliah ‘25 said. “He’s doing this out of the kindness of his heart and he’s been extremely helpful.” 

The team also received support with traveling from Vice President of Athletics Leonard Trevino and Assistant Athletic Director Danielle Pais. The assistance has been especially necessary due to the teams having only one home court match for the women and three for the men in the entire season. Each of the home games were the team’s final games of the regular season. The men finished ranked 20th in the country while the women finished in 23rd after playing their first nine games on the road. 

“It was difficult, there’s no doubt about that,” Trevino said. “But I think we managed it as well as possible. We’re excited about the future.” 

The search for a new head coach reopened following the conclusion of the squash season. Trevino is hopeful that next year will run smoother with a new coach as well as new “state-of-the-art” squash courts being built in Larimer, due to be completed over the summer. In addition to providing a location for practices and home matches, Trevino said the facility will attract potential new coaches and recruits to Chatham. 

“At the beginning of the semester, it was not the closest relationship because we didn’t know what was happening with the team,” Sofia Ramos ‘24 said. “Overall, especially [during the finals], I realized how close we all are with each other and how much love there is between all of us.” 

While challenging, the coach-less season has allowed the athletes to work with Chatham staff and the difficulties the team has faced has brought them closer, allowing the Cougars to collaborate and learn from each other as they pursue success, on and off the court.

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About the Contributor
Sarah Gallogly
Sarah Gallogly, Contributing Writer
Sarah ’27 (she/they) is a Political Science major with a minor in Writing. Sarah decided to come to Chatham to stay in her hometown of Pittsburgh, pursue further education in the subjects she is passionate about, and for the close-knit environment. They enjoy reading, painting, photography, music and way too many TV shows. Sarah can best be contacted at [email protected] or @saraholivia310 on Instagram.

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