Reeham Sedky of Penn and David Ryan of Harvard each captured their first national championships on Sunday to cap off an exciting finals day at Squash on Fire in Washington, D.C. It was two very different storylines for the champions, with Sedky entering as the top seed and Ryan only making it into the top division last minute after a few players withdrew due to injury.
Ryan, a senior, entered the tournament as the No. 14 seed, and only played in the No. 4 position in the Harvard lineup at team nationals only one weekend ago. His cinderella march through the tournament included upsets of the third and sixth seed in the first two rounds, and a win over teammate Timmy Brownell in the semifinals. In the final, Ryan faced top seed Kush Kumar of Trinity. Though again billed as the underdog, Ryan asserted his confidence with a strong 11-4 first game. The players traded the next several games to push the match into the fifth game, where Kumar had two match balls, up 10-8. Ryan then won the next four rallies, including a grueling rally at match ball 10-9 down, to win the championship 12-10 in the final game.
The women’s final was a rematch of the 2017 final, where Georgina Kennedy of Harvard handed Sedky her only loss of the season—Sedky again went undefeated in the 2018 season and was aiming to win her first individual title after losing in the final the last two years. The match was played at a furious pace, with Sedky imposing her unrivaled power and Kennedy looking to absorb and counterattack. Sedky started strong with a 11-5 first game, but Kennedy turned the momentum by taking the second, placing the pressure squarely back on the Penn star’s shoulders. The next two games were tight, but Sedky continued to ramp up the pace and eventually captured the match, and her first title, in the fourth game.
Molloy (men’s B) and Holleran (women’s B) division finals saw players competing to earn Second Team All-American honors. One of the tightest matches of the tournament may have been Belal Nawar of St. Lawrence defeating Dartmouth’s Carson Spahr, with exceptional squash being played all the way to 16-14 in the fifth game of the Molloy East final. Trinity teammates Omar Allaudin and Ziad Sakr each won their Molloy finals in five games. Local favorite Zoe Foo Yuk Han of George Washington claimed the Holleran East crown over Columbia’s Madlen O’Connor, and Trinity’s Vanessa Raj overcame a significant in-season injury to take the Holleran South title over Cornell’s Michele Garceau in five games.
For draws and additional tournament information visit the 2018 College Individual Championships page.
Ramsay Cup (Women’s National Championship)
Reeham Sedky (Penn) d. Georgina Kennedy (Harvard) 11-5, 8-11, 11-7, 11-8
Pool Trophy (Men’s National Championship)
David Ryan (Harvard) d. Kush Kumar (Trinity) 11-4, 8-11, 11-7, 3-11, 12-10
Holleran (Women’s B) divisions:
North: Sue Ann Yong (Harvard) d. Eleonore Evans (Harvard) 11-8, 14-12, 5-11, 11-8
South: Vanessa Raj (Trinity) d. Michele Garceau (Cornell) 6-11, 11-6, 11-7, 9-11, 11-6
East: Zoe Foo Yuk Han (George Washington) d. Madlen O’Connor (Columbia) 8-11, 12-10, 11-8, 11-9
West: Kira Keating (Princeton) d. Raneem El Torky (Princeton) 15-13, 7-11, 11-7, 1-11, 11-7
Molloy (Men’s B) divisions:
North: Omar Allaudin (Trinity) d. David Yacobucci (Yale) 11-9, 11-13, 5-11, 11-7, 11-4
South : Ziad Sakr (Trinity) d. Matthew Toth (Rochester) 9-11, 11-9, 11-9, 10-12, 11-5
East: Belal Nawar (St. Lawrence) d. Carson Spahr (Dartmouth) 12-14, 11-8, 3-11, 11-6, 16-14
West: Lucas Rousselet (Drexel) d. Lawrence Kuhn (Rochester) 11-4, 11-9, (6-11), 11-3