Paderborn, Germany — The 2011 Men’s World Team Squash Championships just concluded in Germany. The United States finished the tournament in seventh place, its best finish since 1983. The team and its coach all have ties to college squash.
The United States team was composed of current Professional Squash Association members Julian Illingworth, Gilly Lane, and Chris Gordon, as well as current college squash player Todd Harrity (Princeton).
The team is filled with decorated College Squash Association players. Illingworth, the seven-time U.S. Champion, was a four-time All-American (2002 – 2006) while at Yale. Penn alum Lane, the 2007 Skillman Award winner, also earned four All-American distinctions. Harrity, the reigning Pool Trophy (men’s individual champion) winner, is a two-time All-American. This fall, he will be entering his junior year at Princeton.
In addition to players, the team has CSA coaches. Gordon has served as an assistant coach at Trinity College since 2008. The team was supposed to be coached by Chris Walker; however, due to injury, Paul Assaiante, the head men’s squash coach at Trinity College, led the team in Germany. Assaiante’s Trinity team’s current win streak stands at 224. The assistant coach, Gareth Webber, recently left his assistant coaching position at Yale University to take over as the Olympic Club (California) professional.
Seeded 8th going into the tournament, the United States team played very well. They defeated the Ukraine and Switzerland and lost to 9th seed Italy in Pool play. Unfortunately, Lane was injured in Pool play.
In the opening round, the United States faced northern neighbor Canada, who was seeded 7th. In 64 minutes, long-time rivals Shahier Razik (Canada) and Illingworth battled. Assaiante told DailySquashReport.com that “Julian really had the weight of the world on his shoulders in the toughest type of match. One that you think you should win.” Illingworth won in five games to capture the match for the United States.
Egypt defeated the United States in the quarterfinals, but the match proved valuable experience for team USA. In the 5th – 8th playoffs, the US lost to Malaysia, but beat India for 7th place overall. Against India, Harrity won a five-game match.
Here are the match results for team USA:
POOL PLAY: USA bt Ukraine 3/0
Chris Gordon bt Kostiantyn Rybaichenko 11-1, 11-7, 11-3 (22m)
Julian Illingworth bt Rusian Sorochinskiy 11-3, 11-6, and 11-5 (26m)
Todd Harity bt Denis Podvornyi 11-8, 11-1, 11-4 (26m)  USA bt Swithzerland 2/1
Julian Illingworth loses to Nicolas Muller 6-11, 4-11, and 5-11 (31m)
Gilly Lane bt Rieko Peter 1-8, 11-4, 11-5 (35m)
Chris Gordon bt John Williams 11-5, 8-11, 11-3, 11-9 (48m)  Italy bt  USA
Marcus Berret bt Chris Gordon 11-4, 11-6, 11-9 (37m)
Amr Swelim bt Todd Harrity 8-11, 9-11, 11-3, 11-6 (42m)
Stephane Galifi bt Julian Illingworth 7-11, 11-4, 11-6, 7-11, 11-9 (44m)
ROUND 1: USA bt  CANADA 2/0
Todd Harrity bt Andrew Schnell 13-11, 11-7, 7-11, 11-4 (42m)
Julian Illingworth bt Shahier Razik 6-11, 3-11, 11-2, 11-0, 11-5 (64m)
Christopher Gordon v Shawn Delierre (Match withdrawn)
QUARTERS: Egypt bt  USA
Karim Darwich bt Julian Illingworth 11-4, 11-4, 11-2 (31m)
Mohamed El Shorbagy bt Chris Gordon 11-9, 11-8, 11-7 (35m)
Hisham Ashour bt Todd Harrity 8-11, 11-1, 11-7 (30m)
5th – 8th PLACE: MALAYSIA bt  USA 2/0
Ong Beng Hee bt Christopher Gordon 9-11, 11-8, 11-4, 11-4 (45m)
Mohd Azlan Iskandar bt Julian Illingworth 6-11, 11-2, 11-4, 11-4 (36m)
Mohd Nafiizwan Adnan v Todd Harrity (Match withdrawn)  USA bt  INDIA 2/0
Julian Illingworth bt Saurav Ghosal 11-9, 2-11, 13-11, 11-7 (50m)
Todd Harrity bt Mahesh Mangaonkar 6-11, 11-5, 7-11, 11-2, 11-5 (51m)
Christopher Gordon v Harinder Pal Sandhu (Match withdrawn)