2012 College Squash Individual Championships: Day 2 Evening Report


College Squash AssociationAmherst, MA — The men’s A Division final will feature Ali Farag of Harvard and Ramit Tandon of Columbia, while Amanda Sobhy of Harvard and Millie Tomlinson of Yale will play for the women’s A Division title.

Ramsay Cup (Women’s A Division): The first semifinal match-up featured Sobhy, Harvard’s #1 and the top seed in the tournament, versus Julie Cerullo, Princeton’s #1. Sobhy opened strong in the first game, giving Cerullo few opportunities and nearly blanking her, winning 11-1. Cerullo came back firing in the second game, opening up a 0-2 lead. The game stayed close for the first few points, and it looked like Cerullo would make a game of it, but Sobhy quickly took charge and pulled away. She never relinquished control of the match, winning the second game 11-4 and the third 11-2.

The second semifinal was a rematch of the 2011 individual final, when Yale’s Millie Tomlinson defeated then-defending indiviual champion Laura Gemmell. Each of their three games today unfolded in similar ways. Tomlinson opened up a sizeable lead, Gemmell began to stage a run, and Tomlinson shut her down. The Yale sophomore advanced to her second final in two years, 11-4, 11-6, 11-5.

Sobhy and Tomlinson will play for the 2012 Ramsay Cup tomorrow at noon. The two have played twice this season: during Harvard and Yale’s regular season match at Yale when the Ivy League title was on the line; and during the finals of the 2012 Howe Cup at Harvard. In both instances Sobhy won in three games.

Pool Trophy (Men’s A Division): Ali Farag of Harvard and Vikram Malhotra of Trinity played in the first semifinal. The competitive, sometimes inventive play in the first game delighted the crowd, and the score was tight throughout. It looked like Malhotra would take the game, but Farag came back to win in tiebreakers, 13-11. The second game was an entirely different story. Farag went up 10-0 before Malhotra got on the board; Farag won the second game 11-1. The third match was closer than the second, and Malhotra hit some dizzying shots. But Farag was always there, and he advanced to the final with an 11-4 win.

Columbia first-year player Ramit Tandon and defending individual champion Todd Harrity of Princeton played in the second semifinal. As in the first semifinal, the first match was the closest. Harrity won the first point, and he and Tandon traded points back and forth, keeping the score tight until it was 7-6 for Tandon, who opened a lead and didn’t look back, winning 11-7. The second again started close but Tandon again pulled away, winning 11-5. After a slow start to the third game, Harrity had several inspired points, keeping the score within reach. Tandon, however, pulled away once again, securing his place in the finals with an 11-6 win in the third.

Tandon and Farag did not play during the regular season, but they did meet in the finals of the 2011 Price-Bullington Invitational, where Farag won in three.

Holleran Cup (Women’s B Division): The semifinals of the women’s B Division are set for tomorrow morning. Princeton first-year player Alex Lunt advanced with a three-game win over Middlebury senior Elena Laird. Tomorrow Lunt will face another first-year player, Yale’s Shihui Mao, in the semifinals; Mao defeated Penn’s Steph Vogel in three to advance.

In the other half of the draw, Trinity junior Robyn Hodgson outlasted Princeton’s Casey Cortes in a marathon five-gamer: 4-11, 11-8, 9-11, 11-6, 13-11. The other quarterfinal saw another Yale first-year player, Issey Norman-Ross, advance with a three-game win over Mount Holyoke senior Shara Robertson.

Molloy Cup (Men’s B Division): Two Trinity teammates will play in one of the B Division semifinals tomorrow. Matthew Mackin and Vishrab Kotian advanced with wins over Blake Reinson (Brown) and Kyle Ogilvy (St. Lawrence), respectively. Kotian won in three while Reison took Mackin to five.

Omar Sobhy of George Washington, the defending Molloy Cup champion, will play Penn’s Danny Greenberg in the other semifinal. Sobhy advanced with a three-game win over Will Morris of Williams, while Greenberg earned his berth in the semis with a four-game victory over Princeton’s Clay Blackiston.