Monday, November 14, 2016

Both teams win Ivy Scrimmages

After two hard-fought finals, both of our teams won the Ivy Scrimmages this past weekend. 

Before the final against Penn - a repeat of last year's national championship final - our women beat Brown (9-0) and Yale (9-0). As expected, the Penn match was extremely close from start to finish. While the Crimson lost at #1, #2, #3 and #6, the depth of our team secured a close 5-4 win in the end. 

The men beat Cornell (9-0) and Penn (6-3) on their way to the final. Meanwhile, Columbia beat Yale (defending Ivy and national champion) in the other semifinal to make their first final appearance ever at the Scrimmages. After two rounds of play, the teams were tied at 3-3 but the Crimson went 3-0 in the last round to record a 6-3 win. 

The weekend showed that we’re certainly on the right track but many other teams are right there with us. There's still a lot of work to be done but it will definitely be another exciting season of college squash.

Thank you for all the support at Yale this weekend!

Our first official match of the season is only a few weeks away: Both teams will face Dartmouth (@Harvard) on December 7th at 4pm.

Go Crimson!

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Ivy Scrimmages & Preseason Rankings

Ivy Scrimmages This Weekend
 
While the first official college match is still a few weeks away, the Ivy teams will be competing at Yale this weekend at the Ivy Scrimmages. 
 
Our women’s team is seeded #1 and will face Brown in the first round on Saturday at 12:30pm. Our #3 seeded men’s team will play against Cornell at 10am on Saturday.
 
We’re attaching the draws to this e-mail. 
 
We hope to see many of you at Yale!
 


CSA Preseason Team Rankings
 
The CSA published the preseason team rankings last week. Based on the CSA coaches’ votes, our women’s team starts the season ranked #1 in the nation and the men are ranked #5. 
 
Women’s preseason rankings:
 
Men’s preseason rankings:



Harvard-Yale Participation Challenge

Starting today, Harvard will be in a friendly competition with Yale to see which College can secure the largest number of donors leading up to The Game on November 19th

The Goal? 
To beat Yale and raise 4,000 gifts between today and Game Day. 

What counts?
It's all about participation! No gift is too small and all gifts, pledges, and pledge payments made by College alumni from November 10 through November 19 at 11:59:59 PM will be counted toward Challenge totals. To make sure a gift is counted in time, please give ONLINE. 

How to give to the squash teams?
To give to the squash teams, go to https://community.alumni.harvard.edu/give/15716515 and select “Squash”.

More information on the Challenge: http://alumni.harvard.edu/harvard-yale-challenge

Thank you for all your support.

Go Crimson!

Friday, October 28, 2016

Fall Update

It’s that time of the year again; the squash season is around the corner! 

Our teams started their official practice season last week. Until then, the captains had been in charge of pre-season training. While we’ve had a few minor injuries on the squads, both teams are looking good and ready for another successful season.

Class of 2020: A combination of domestic and international talent

We’re proud and excited to welcome our new freshmen class to Harvard. 

On the men’s side, Saadeldin Abouaish (runner-up at the World Junior Championship this past summer) is joined by top American juniors, Timmy Brownell (US Junior Open Champion) and Sean Hughes (3-time US Junior National Champion). As the team didn’t lose anyone from the top 9 this past year, we will have a much deeper team this season. 

The women’s team will defend its national and Ivy League titles with the help of 3 freshmen. 2 of them come from England and one from the US: The Brits, Amelia Henley (finished 6th at the World Juniors) and Gina Kennedy (5-time British Junior Champion), have both won the Individual European Championship before coming to Harvard; Kennedy in 2015 and Henley in 2016. US junior national team member, Eleonore Evans, is off to a great start at Harvard and is expected to be contending for a top 9 position already in her freshman year.

Additionally, we have two walk-ons joining the teams after successfully getting through the tryout process: Theo Mendez ’19 joins the men’s team and Annika Engstrom ’20 will play on our women’s squad. We also have a newly appointed student team manager for the men’s team, Rana Bansal ’19.

Koh and McLaughlin continue; Women’s team selects new captains

Bryan Koh ’17 and Devin McLaughlin ’17 were strong co-captains last year as juniors and their teammates voted them to continue through their senior year. Our women selected Dileas MacGowan ’17 and Caroline Monrad ’17 as their senior co-captains and they’re off to a great start with the team.

Match Schedule for 2016 / 17:

November
12-13 | Ivy Scrimmages, Yale

December
07 | Dartmouth @ Harvard, 4PM

January
13 | Drexel @ Drexel, 12PM (Women), 2PM (Men)
14 | Penn @ Penn, 12PM (Men), 3PM (Women)
15 | Princeton @ Princeton, 12PM (Women), 2:30PM (Men)
19 | Stanford @ Stanford, 5PM (Women only)
28 | Rochester @ Rochester, 12PM (Men only)
29 | St. Lawrence @ St. Lawrence, 12PM (Men only)

February
04 | Columbia @ Harvard, 12PM
05 | Cornell @ Harvard, TBD
08 | Trinity @ Harvard, 4PM
10 | Brown @ Brown, 4PM (Women), 6PM (Men)
11 | Stanford @ Harvard, 11AM (Women only)
12 | Yale @ Harvard, 1PM

17-19 | Men’s Team Nationals @ Harvard
24-26 | Women’s Team Nationals @ Princeton

March
03-05 | Individual Nationals @ Dartmouth

Upcoming Alumni Events

While we hope to see many of you at our matches, we will also have a number of alumni events this season. We will send more details later in the year: 

- NYC Hit Around during the Tournament of Champions (Jan 16, 17 or 18) 
- San Francisco alumni event after the women’s Stanford match (Jan 19)
- An event during the weekend of the Men’s Team Nationals at Harvard (Feb 17-19)

What else has been going on? 

Rob Dinerman’s book, A History of Harvard Squash, was published almost exactly one year ago, on October 24th, 2015. During the evening, we heard some unforgettable experiences and stories from many former coaches and players and of course, Rob Dinerman himself. If you’re interested in purchasing the book, let us know by responding to this e-mail.

Pictures from the event can be found in our Facebook gallery (no login required): https://www.facebook.com/pg/Harvard-Squash-385174613824/photos/?tab=album&album_id=10153834282238825

The annual Spring Reunion Hit Around took place in May. Over 20 alumni and many more family members joined us for a fun morning at the Murr Center.

If you haven’t seen the pictures yet, check out our Facebook gallery (no login required): https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10154326571943825.1073741833.385174613824&type=1&l=6df91d05c3

Ali Farag ’14 and Amanda Sobhy ’15 have both had amazing runs on the professional circuit. They’ve solidified their spots in the world’s top 10 recently and they recorded their career-high rankings this month: After just a couple of years out of college, both Ali and Amanda are ranked 6th in the world! 

Hope Prockop ’90 continued her success at the British Open Masters this year by winning both the 40+ and 45+ titles. She also reached the 45+ semifinals at the World Masters in September.

- Finally, we want to congratulate both Ali Farag '14 and Nigel Koh '14 on getting married this past summer! Ali and his wife, Nour El Tayeb, are based in Cairo but they both travel the world competing on the professional squash circuit. Nigel has relocated to San Francisco with his wife.

Another exciting college season is about to start. We’ll be in touch again after the Ivy Scrimmages in a few weeks. 

Go Crimson!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Coming up: Harvard Squash Reunion Weekend

2016 REUNION SQUASH COMMITTEE

Mike Way, Gregory Lee '87 and Russell Ball '88 Endowed Head Coach for Squash
Reed Endresen '11
Richard Hill '11
Blair Clark-Schoeb '96
Robert Greenhill '91
Hope Prockop '90

Dear squash alumni,

Please join the 2016 Harvard Squash Reunion Committee at the Murr Center on Saturday, May 28, 2016 for an informal hit/visit with Harvard Squash from 10-11:30am.  Spouses, partners and children welcome!

We will have some light refreshments and courts 1-5 reserved for some healthy old and new rivalries. We will have racquets, balls and goggles to lend but please remember to bring your own squash shoes.

Please RSVP to Trevor MacDonald (tmacdonald@fas.harvard.edu) by May 16, 2016.

Reunion is five weeks away. Dust off the backhand and see you soon!

Check out pictures from the 2015 Reunion Weekend here: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10153641071003825.1073741830.385174613824&type=3

Monday, April 11, 2016

Season Recap and Team Banquet

The Harvard Squash season was officially wrapped up at last week’s team banquet. Senior speeches and great memories were shared with 70+ guests in the Hall of History at the Murr Center. 

Once again, here’s what the teams accomplished this season:

- Women’s CSA Team National Champions
- Women’s Ivy League Champions
- Men’s Ivy League Runners-Up
- 4 CSA All America Honors
- 6 CSA Scholar Athletes
- Women’s Ivy League Player & Rookie of the Year (Sabrina Sobhy)
- 5 First Team All Ivy League Honors
- Women’s Ivy League Coach of the Year (Mike Way)

In addition to the titles above, we want to congratulate all of our seniors and the team award winners (voted by our players):

- Women’s seniors: Izzy Dowling, Michelle Gemmell, Saumya Karki and Allie Sperry
- Men’s seniors: Sam Goldberg, Peter Janulis, Jake Matthews and Matt Roberts
- Women’s Most Valuable Player: Sabrina Sobhy ’19
- Men’s Most Valuable Player: Bryan Koh ’17
- Women’s Most Improved Players: Saumya Karki ’16 and Alyssa Mehta ’18
- Men’s Most Improved Player: Mandela Patrick ’18
- Coaches’ Awards: Women’s co-captains Saumya Karki ’16 and Izzy Dowling ’16


What else has been going on?

- Head Coach Mike Way talked to GoCrimson.com about the past season.

Women’s season recap video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YXSL6QwSjpc
Men’s season recap video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N39O234Et3A

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- Seniors Izzy Dowling and Sam Goldberg were interviewed by GoCrimson.com about their experiences as student-athletes at Harvard. 


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Jay Nelson ’62Hope Prockop ’90 and Richard Chin (Head Pro at the Harvard Club of NYC) all won US National Masters titles in Virginia in March. 


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- Harvard has been in the spotlight on the professional tour this spring: Both Amanda Sobhy ’15 and Ali Farag ’14 reached the quarterfinals of the British Open in March. Sobhy is currently ranked #8 in the world and Farag #11!

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- In between professional tournaments, Amanda Sobhy ’15 sang the national anthem at a Boston Bruins game in March together with Hope Prockop ’90. An impressive performance from both of them!

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- Portland Community Squash is fundraising for their new center and programs. They are hosting events at the Murr Center in Boston (Apr 14) and at the University Club of NY (Apr 21). At both parties, 15 universities will put forward their best male and female alums from their cities. 

Read more about the eventhttp://www.pcsquash.com/
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From all of us in the squash office, we hope you enjoy the spring time!

Thursday, March 10, 2016

CSA Individuals, Past Champions Gala & Team Banquet


Four Crimson players secured All-America honors last weekend at the CSA Individual Nationals. Kayley Leonard ’19, Sabrina Sobhy ’19 and Alyssa Mehta ’18 all finished in the top 10 (First Team). Leonard had a great run and reached the semifinals before losing against Trinity’s Kanzy El Defrawy (who went on to win this year’s title). Meanwhile, Bryan Koh ’17 made the second team on the men’s side.
Gala honors past Champions - Doyle gets inducted to Men’s Hall of Fame
After the semifinals on Saturday, the CSA hosted a gala honoring past individual champions. Harvard was well represented with a number of past winners present at Chelsea Piers:
- Charlie Ufford (1952, 1953)
- Ben Heckscher (1956, 1957)
- Anil Nayar (1967, 1968, 1969)
- Lee Howard (1973)
- Diana (Edge) Dowling (1988)
- Vanya Desai (1993)
- Libby (Eynon) Welch (1995)
- Daniel Ezra (1996)
- Laura Gemmell (2010)
- Amanda Sobhy (2012, 2013, 2014, 2015)
It was a memorable event which highlighted the long history of college squash and successful legacy of the Harvard programs. The CSA also honored former Harvard Head Coach Bill Doyle who was inducted to the Men’s CSA Hall of Fame this year. Doyle had already been an inductee in the Women’s CSA Hall of Fame in 2007 but is now recognized for all his accomplishments on the men’s side as well. 
Congratulations to Bill Doyle and all of our past champions!

Photos from the event: http://www.mtbello.com/College-Squash/2016-Individuals/2016-CSA-Individuals-Gala/
Team Banquet to wrap up season
The annual team banquet will take place on April 1st this year. The current team members, their parents and friends of the program will celebrate our graduating seniors and the teams’ accomplishments this season:
- Women’s National Champions
- Women’s Ivy League Champions
- Men's Ivy League Runner-Ups
- Four All-America Honors
If you want to attend the event, you can purchase tickets through the Varsity Club’s website: https://www.harvardvarsityclub.org/article.html?aid=1137

Monday, February 29, 2016

Women win National Championship

Just two weeks after securing the Ivy Championship, our women’s team finished off the season by winning the national team title this past weekend. The Crimson beat Penn 5-4 in the final after coming back from being 1-3 down. This is the 16th national championship in program history and the second consecutive one. 

After beating Cornell in the quarterfinal, the team had a close semifinal against Trinity: Both #1 Sabrina Sobhy and #2 Kayley Leonard suffered the first personal losses of the season against Trinity’s #1 and #2. The bottom 3 for the Crimson in addition to #3 Alyssa Mehta and #5 Michelle Gemmell beat their opponents in three and sealed the victory. 

The final against Penn was also a difficult one: Being 1-3 down, Dileas MacGowan at #8 and Kayley Leonard at #2 leveled the match score. After Penn took an important win at #4, Harvard needed both remaining matches. Senior co-captain Saumya Karki didn’t allow the Penn #7 to come back despite losing the 3rd game. Karki found her rhythm again in the 4th and won, bringing the match score to 4-4. It was down to freshman Sabrina Sobhy who was playing against Penn’s Reeham Sedky - a nemesis from her junior days. Sobhy handled the pressure well, clinching the match 11-9 in the fourth after a brave, yet fair, “no let” call from the referee. 

Quarterfinal: Harvard Women vs. Cornell Women 9-0

Semifinal: Harvard Women vs. Trinity Women 5-4

Final: Harvard Women vs. Penn 5-4

Men finish 6th after one of the closest college seasons ever

The men were seeded #6 after the regular season and ended up finishing 6th at nationals. A top 4 finish was not far at all as the Crimson suffered a close 5-4 loss against #3 seeded St. Lawrence in the quarterfinal. 

The team went into the weekend without co-captain, #6 Devin McLaughlin, who dislocated his shoulder in the last regular season match.  Despite the challenge of playing higher up than before, Harvard’s #7, 8 and 9 played extremely well and won all of the matches against St. Lawrence. #9 Jack Cooper was down 0-2 and 3-7 in the 3rd before coming back and winning in five games. Dylan Murray at #5 took the 4th win for the Crimson. 

Alexi Gosset at #6 and Bryan Koh at #3 took a game each but ended up losing in four games. The rest of the team fought hard but wasn’t able to turn the match around. 

In the consolation plate, the Crimson beat Dartmouth 6-3 to make it to the 5/6 playoff in which they faced Penn. Harvard had won the regular season match against the Quakers but wasn’t able to repeat it this past weekend. Penn was the better team that day and walked away with the 5th place finish.

Quarterfinal: Harvard Men vs. St. Lawrence 4-5

5/8 Playoff: Harvard Men vs. Dartmouth 6-3

5/6 Playoff: Harvard Men vs. Penn 2-7

From top to bottom, all the teams in the Potter Cup played close matches during the regular season as well as this past weekend: Out of the 12 matches in the A division, there were five 5-4 matches and three 6-3’s. On the women’s side, the matches were very close amongst the top 4 teams (Harvard, Penn, Trinity and Princeton). 

The coaches are very proud of both teams. While most players are done for the season, some of our top players will be contesting at the Individual National Championships at Chelsea Piers in Stamford, CT this coming weekend. 

We will send a recap of the tournament and the season as a whole after the weekend. As a reminder, following the semifinals on the Saturday (March 5), the championship will feature a gala bringing back many of the past champions. 

More information on the individual tournament and gala:

Go Crimson!