Harvard’s Kennedy, Tarek Capture Individual Titles

0
678
views
Champions and finalists from the 2020 CSA National Collegiate Individual Championships (l to r): Aly Abou El Einen (Penn), Georgina Kennedy (Harvard), Marwan Tarek (Harvard), and Hana Moataz (Harvard) – (all photos: Michael T. Bello)

Georgina Kennedy and Marwan Tarek, both of Harvard University, won their respective 2020 College Squash Association (CSA) National Collegiate Individual Championships on Sunday at the University of Pennsylvania Squash Center in Philadelphia, PA. Kennedy, a senior and four-time finalist, captured her third Ramsay Cup, going out on top as one of the elites of college squash. Sophomore Tarek earned his first Pool Trophy in his first finals appearance after a 14-1 record during the season.

Hana Moataz (left) vs. Ramsay Cup Champion Gina Kennedy (right)

Kennedy, the top seed in the Ramasy Cup draw, had been phenomenal all year, losing only four individual games during the season on her way to a fourth team championship and the Betty Richey Award. Despite it being her fourth Ramsay final in four years, Kennedy’s opponent, teammate Hana Moataz, looked more comfortable as the match began. Moataz jumped out to an early lead, but Kennedy gradually settled in, pushing the first game to extra points. Kennedy ultimately prevailed 13-11 in the first, and then carried the momentum from that comeback into the second and third games. It was clear that Kennedy figured out her plan to attack Moataz midway through the first game because she rattled off two consecutive quick game wins to clinch the third Ramsay Cup of her career.

For as one-sided as the women’s final ended up being, the men’s Pool Trophy final was just as even all the way through. During the first three games, the third seed from Harvard, Tarek, and Penn’s Aly Abou El Einen stayed within only a couple points of each other. Abou El Einen earned wins in the first and third games, 11-9 and 12-10, while Tarek grabbed an extra-point win in the second, and it felt like anyone’s game heading into the fourth.

Pool Trophy Champion Marwan Tarek (right) vs. Aly Abou El Einen (left)

The Penn player jumped out to a quick lead in the fourth game – one of the biggest of the match – but Tarek changed his tactics, shortening the points and ramping up his physicality. An injury break and a few errors by Abou El Einen seemingly revitalized the Crimson player, spurring him into the game lead and then tying the match at 2-2. Both players were physically spent as the fifth game began, which led to shorter points, errors in the tin, and some looser balls away from the walls. Tarek got the better of these exchanges, extending a lead he would not relinquish. As the final ball met the tin, an victorious and exhausted Tarek collapsed to his knees on court, celebrating his maiden college squash championship.

Holleran (Women’s B) and Molloy (Men’s B) Division finals featured players aiming to clinch the final eight Second Team All-America selections. The high level of play and competitiveness on display was fantastic in all of the finals, including seven of the eight matches extending beyond three games. On the women’s side, Trinity’s Vanessa Raj captured her third Holleran Cup win and Harvard’s Eleonore Evans earned her second in as many years. Evans’s teammate Hannah Craig and Princeton rookie Caroline Spahr won their first Holleran championships each.

For the men in the Molloy Divisions, the top three teams from the Men’s Team Championships exerted their dominance with championship wins on Sunday. Trinity captured two titles through first-time winners Andrew Lee and Aly Eltokhy. Harvard’s George Crowne made a dominant run in his division to his first title over Penn’s Dillon Huang, but Yash Bhargava of Penn avenged his teammate’s loss with a Molloy title of his own.

Final Results:

Ramsay Cup (Women’s National Championship)
Georgina Kennedy (Harvard) d. Hana Moataz (Harvard) 13-11, 11-4, 11-1

Pool Trophy (Men’s National Championship)

Marwan Tarek (Harvard) d. Aly Abou El Einen (Penn)  9-11, 13-11, 10-12, 11-6, 11-5

Holleran (Women’s B) Divisions
North: Vanessa Raj (Trinity) d. Cassandra Ong (Stanford) 11-7, 11-3, 6-11, 9-11, 11-6
South: Eleonore Evans (Harvard) d. Anna Hughes (Drexel)  4-11, 11-9, 11-9, 8-11, 11-9
East: Caroline Spahr (Princeton) d. Andrea Toth (Princeton)  9-11, 11-6, 11-8, 11-8
West: Hannah Craig (Harvard) d. Emme Leonard (Princeton)  9-11, 11-6, 11-4, 11-6

Molloy (Men’s B) Divisions
North: Andrew Lee (Trinity) d. Enzo Corigliano (St. Lawrence)  6-11, 11-5, 11-6, 11-2
South: Yash Bhargava (Penn) d. Sanjay Jeeva (Franklin & Marshall)  11-9, 11-9, 9-11, 10-12, 11-6
East: George Crowne (Harvard) d. Dillon Huang (Penn)  11-5,11-9, 11-9
West: Aly Eltokhy (Trinity) d. Harrison Gill (Yale)  4-11, 11-8, 12-10, 12-10