After a month of preparation and rebuilding, the men's and women's squash teams will travel to Yale tonight to play Amherst, Stanford and St. Lawrence, and the women will play Franklin and Marshall and Mount Holyoke as well.

"Yale is a huge weekend for college squash in general," said Rahul Madan Mohan '11. "Lots of teams come...for this weekend. From 8 a.m. to midnight, there are matches going on. We get to play some great matches."

The teams competed at Brown on Wednesday, a match that turned the page in terms of the level of competition the Polar Bears will be facing.

While the men played a tough match, coming away with the only two victories of the day, the team is looking forward to its weekend matches.

On January 8, the team traveled to Williams to play against Williams and Middlebury. Against Williams, Barrett Takesian '12 emerged as the sole victor for both the men and the women.

"We lost 8-1, but Barrett came out strong," said Madan Mohan. "He had some knee problems bothering him, but he played through."

Last year, the men beat Williams 6-3 and 8-1 at NESCAC's, but having graduated seven seniors, five of whom started, the men find themselves with five new players on their ladder and 13 players overall, as opposed to last year's 16.

"Williams is a much better team than us and we did very well," said Madan Mohan.

Middlebury only graduated one senior from the men's team.

"This was [also] a good test for us—from 1 through 9, we had some great battles," Madan Mohan said.

Takesian again was among the men's two victors against Middlebury; the women came away with one.

After the Williams weekend, Takesian—a second semester sophomore transfer to Bowdoin—was promoted to the position of junior captain.

"While he fit the mold of being a leader, we couldn't put him as a captain [at the beginning of the year]," said Fortson "He was the newest of all the people outside of the freshmen. But through the work in the offseason, continued leadership role...[and] his clutch play in competition—he's an example of how you compete—it became obvious that it was time to make this kind of in-season move."

Of the women's team, Fortson said that senior Lauren Gesswein has been "a standout" as a captain.

"We have five sophomores and five freshmen, out of 13 members, and Lauren has done a very good job of leading," he said. "There are many facets to that job; it's very easy to have your game suffer for it a little bit—she's not letting it happen."

Luckily for the women, veteran players have come back from abroad and Elizabeth Schetman '13, who played at No. 3 last year, has returned to the team after her summer back operation.

While both teams are currently rebuilding, Fortson sees promise in the younger players. He is especially happy with the group of walk-on's from the women's team, including three players who had never played the game.

On the men's team, first year Reid Wilson, who also had limited squash experience, has put forth a tremendous effort since January 2, according to Madan Mohan.

The team has also tried something new this Winter Break.

"We actually just started doing yoga as of last week; were experimenting to see if that will help us with injury prevention," said Madan Mohan. "Assistant Coach John Moncure knew a yoga instructor. Once a week, we have replaced morning practice; going ahead, we're going to schedule it around practices."

"Yoga is a great fit for squash," said Forston. "The same demands for yoga are those we have for squash."

Looking ahead, Fortson laid out some long-term goals.

"Our goal is to compete [and] develop so we can peak at Nationals," he said. "We're still several weeks away from that—there is a lot to be determined yet."