HomeArticlesWeekend Recap: Exciting Matches Lead In To Championships

Weekend Recap: Exciting Matches Lead In To Championships

Princeton’s Maaz Khatri (right) won the match-clinching contest over Rochester’s Thijs Van der Pluijm (left) at Princeton on Saturday (photo: David Keating).

Women’s teams completed their final matches of the regular season and a few more champions were crowned on another busy weekend of college squash.

Ivy League Championship

The top-ranked Harvard teams traveled to Ithaca, NY this weekend to take on Cornell in the last matches of the season for each team. Both Crimson teams captured convincing 9-0 wins over the Big Red squads to clinch the outright Ivy League Championship titles.

The Ivy League Championship for the women was their fifth in a row and 25th overall for the program. The highlight of the match was the rematch of the 2019 CSA Individual Championship contest between Harvard’s Gina Kennedy and Cornell’s Sivasangari Subramaniam. Like in the championship, Kennedy prevailed over Subramaniam with a 3-1 win.

The Harvard men won their second Ivy League title in a row, which is their 43rd in program history. The win over Cornell continued the Crimson’s incredible run of form, tallying an individual match record of 122-4 over the course of this season.

New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Men’s Championship

Speaking of dominant runs of form, the Trinity College men’s team captured their 14th straight NESCAC Championship with win over second-seeded Williams on Sunday. Trinity, the only team to win the NESCAC men’s trophy since the inception of the tournament, felt the pressure from a confident Williams side, but they ultimately prevailed 7-2.

Other than the final, the real intrigue of the NESCAC men’s tournament were the results between teams seeded three through eight. None of those teams finished in their seeded place, and all of the matches finished with very close 5-4 or 6-3 scorelines. The real carnage occurred in the consolation bracket, with seventh-seed Bowdoin and eighth-seed Tufts each capturing upset victories and fifth-see Middlebury taking out 3-seed Bates in the third place match.

Those consolation bracket results throw the overall rankings into upheaval, especially in the Summers (C) Division where many of the NESCAC teams are currently placed. Keep an eye out for some exciting repeat match-ups during the CSA National Collegiate Men’s Team Championships in two weeks.

Other Results

Not to be outdone by the championship events, Princeton hosted two consequential matches that lived up to their billing. First on court was No. 3 Trinity versus No. 2 Princeton. Trinity’s strength at the top of their lineup balanced out Princeton’s depth, and the match hinged on the five-game match between the second position players, Princeton’s Raneem El Torky and Trinity’s Akanksha Salunkhe.

Trinity’s Akanksha Salunkhe (left) and Princeton’s Raneem El Torky (right) battle in a tight match on Saturday (photo: David Keating)

After going up 2-1 in games, Salunkhe looked poised to clinch the match for Trinity with a 7-1 lead in Game 4. El Torky regrouped, however, and, riding a boisterous crowd and momentum after a few close referee decisions, she came all the way back to win the fourth, 12-10. The momentum continued into the fifth game, and El Torky cruised to an 11-2 fifth-game win to clinch her match, while setting the table for a 5-4 team victory.

Following soon after was the fourth-ranked Princeton men’s match against No. 5 Rochester. The match was tight throughout, including a 2-2 tie after the first wave of matches of the 5-court system. The Tigers gradually pulled away in the second wave, primarily on the strength of three wins from the lower half of their ladder.

Rochester regrouped effectively the next day as their roadtrip continued to No. 14 George Washington. The Yellowjackets earned an important 7-2 decision to solidify their position as their regular season came to a close.

In other round robin competitions during the weekend:

  • the Franklin & Marshall squads each captured the unofficial Centennial Conference crowns over Dickinson, Haverford, and Johns Hopkins;
  • Mount Holyoke swept the competition in an unofficial Seven Sisters event; and
  • the Denison men won all three of their matches at the Vassar round robin.

Full results from the weekend, as well as upcoming matches, can be found here: Women and Men.

The CSA now looks forward to three straight weekends of National Collegiate Squash Championship events. The first event is the Women’s Team Championships, hosted by Yale University and Hopkins School in New Haven, CT.