Stamford, CT — There has been a change in the location of the 2015 – 2016 Men’s and Women’s College Squash Association Individual Championships, which will be held March 4 – 6, 2016. The event will now be hosted in Stamford, CT, at Chelsea Piers.
Dartmouth College, the originally scheduled host for the Individual Championships, graciously agreed to host the Individual Championships in a future season.
The change of venue will help the College Squash Association highlight the intercollegiate game. The event will be played on Chelsea Piers’ eleven singles courts, which were constructed in 2012. The club is also constructing additional grandstands so that even more spectators may watch the matches. This event will mark the first time that the Individual Championships are being played at a venue other than a College Squash Association member university or college.
“With Chelsea Piers being easily accessible for teams, parents, and fans throughout the East Coast, the venue is ideal for highlighting the best collegiate players in the nation,” states Martin Heath, the head coach at the University of Rochester and the Men’s College Squash Association president.
One of the highlights of this year’s Individual Tournament will be a celebration of past intercollegiate singles champions. All living champions are being invited to the semi-finals and a reception to honor them on Saturday, March 5, 2016.
“We rarely pause to recognize the incredible history of college squash, especially the individual champions, many who are members of the Men’s and Women’s College Squash Halls of Fame,” adds Wendy Lawrence, the men’s and women’s head coach at George Washington University and the president of the Women’s College Squash Association. “College squash has never recognized its individual champions in this manner before.”
While intercollegiate team championships began in the 1940s for the men and the 1970s for the women, intercollegiate individual championships began much earlier for both the men and the women.
In 1932, Harvard’s Beekman Pool won the inaugural men’s individual tournament. The permeant trophy, which has each winner’s name engraved on it, was donated by Eugene Pool, Beekman’s father. In the 82 occurrences of the tournament, there have been 55 Pool Trophy winners, representing 14 schools. In 2003, the event was expanded and a B draw was named after Albert Molloy, the legendary University of Pennsylvania coach.
The women’s individual tournament began in 1965 with Vassar’s Katherine Allabough capturing the inaugural title. In the 55 year history of the event, there have been 32 champions representing 12 institutions. The A Division of the championship is named after Gail Ramsay, now the women’s coach at Princeton, who won the event four times. In 2003, a B draw of the event was added and named after Demer Holleran, a three time Ramsay Cup champion while at Princeton.
This season, last year’s men’s champion, Ahmed Abdel Khalek (Bates), will be seeking to recapture the Pool Trophy. With the graduation of four-time women’s champion Amanda Sobhy (Harvard), there will be a new Ramsay Cup champion this season.
The change in location for the Individual Championship coincides with a change to the format of the Men’s and Women’s Team Championships. Traditionally, the women’s and men’s events were held on separate and alternating weekends at the end of February. For the 2016 Team Championships, the College Squash Association will be combining the men’s and women’s events. The first weekend, February 19 – 21, 2016, will feature men’s and women’s teams ranked 17th and below. The following weekend, February 26 – 28, 2016, the top-16 ranked women’s and men’s teams will play. Both team championship weekends will be held in New Haven, CT, with Yale University serving as the primary host.
With the easily accessible location, excellent match viewing possibilities, and a celebration of past champions, Chelsea Piers is the ideal host for the 2015 – 2016 College Squash Association Individual Championships.