Kennedy and Crouin Win National Championships

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The 2019 College Squash Association Championships and Runners-Up (from l to right, photo credit: Michael T. Bello): Sivasangari Subramaniam (Cornell), Georgina Kennedy (Harvard), Victor Crouin (Harvard), Mohamed El-Gawarhy (St. Lawrence)

Victor Crouin, a first-year, and Georgina Kennedy, a junior, both from Harvard, earned 2019 College Squash Association (CSA) Individual National Championships at the Nicol Squash Club in Providence, Rhode Island on Sunday. This is Kennedy’s second Ramsay Cup win in three years, while Crouin captured the Pool Trophy in his first year with the Harvard program.

Kennedy, the third seed in the Ramsay Cup draw, entered her third Ramsay final in three years after outlasting familiar foe Reeham Sedky of Penn in a grueling five-game semifinal. While she didn’t appear to show many ill-effects from the long match in the first game of the final, her opponent – the 5-seed from Cornell, Sivasangari Subramaniam – came out firing to win the first game 11-9. Subramaniam had upset top-seeded Sabrina Sobhy in her semifinal and seemed unfazed by the gravity of the moment. However, a concerning trend of errors into the tin during Subramaniam’s first game would turn out to be the difference in the final result. In the subsequent games, Kennedy started to match Subramaniam’s level of shot-making and deception, taking the tight second game 11-8. With momentum on her side and her opponent continuing to cut things too close in the front court, Kennedy maintained her high pressure all the way to a championship victory.

Like the women’s match-up, the Crouin-El-Gawarhy pairing was an unknown entity without a previous match between the two players. On paper, it was a clash of styles with El-Gawarhy bringing a flair for the dramatic in contrast with Crouin’s simplicity and workmanlike nature. It was Crouin’s simple approach and eagerness to take the volley early which lead to a first-game victory, 11-6. As many of Crouin’s other opponents have discovered over the course of his first year, his positioning, read on the ball, and thoughtful shot-making are extremely difficult to overcome.  El-Gawarhy found the same to be true in Sunday’s final, as he could never quite overcome the young Frenchman. Crouin maintained his stellar play through the end, clinching the championship with 11-6, 11-7 final game scores.

Holleran (Women’s B) and Molloy (Men’s B) Division finals featured players aiming to clinch the final eight Second Team All-America awards. Showing the competitiveness of those matches and the high quality of the players, seven of the eight matches progressed beyond the minimum three games. The Trinity women finished the tournament especially strong, capturing three of the four Holleran Division titles, including Jennifer Haley’s five-game triumph over Harvard’s Sophie Mehta. Four players from four different schools – Princeton, St. Lawrence, Dartmouth, and Drexel – won the Molloy Division championships.  Dartmouth’s Matt Giegerich took the men’s match of the day in five games against Cornell’s Charles Culhane.

Final Results:

Pool Trophy (Men’s National Championship)
Victor Crouin (Harvard) d. Mohamed El-Gawarhy (St. Lawrence) 11-6, 11-6, 11-7

Ramsay Cup (Women’s National Championship)
Georgina Kennedy (Harvard) d. Sivasangari Subramaniam (Cornell) 9-11, 11-8, 11-2, 11-4

Molloy (Men’s B) Divisions
North: Adhitya Raghavan (Princeton) d. David Yacobucci (Penn) 11-13, 11-6, 12-10, 11-6
South: Enzo Corigliano (St. Lawrence) d. Harrison Gill (Yale) 14-12, 11-4, 11-8
East: Matt Giegerich (Dartmouth) d. Charles Culhane (Cornell) 9-11, 11-5, 6-11, 11-1, 11-5
West: Bransten Ming (Drexel) d. Matthew Toth (Rochester) 11-5, 5-11, 11-9, 11-5

Holleran (Women’s B) Divisions
North: Akanksha Salunkhe (Trinity) d. Mihiliya Kalahe Arachchige (Mount Holyoke) 9-11, 11-9, 11-5, 11-9
South: Vanessa Raj (Trinity) d. Emma Jinks (Virginia) 11-7, 9-11, 11-8, 11-7
East: Eleonore Evans (Harvard) d. Elle Ruggiero (Princeton) 11-9, 12-10, 7-11, 12-14, 11-9
West: Jennifer Haley (Trinity) d. Sophie Mehta (Harvard) 8-11, 11-9, 3-11, 11-7, 11-4