Thursday, February 21, 2013

Women's Nationals Championship and Men's IVY Title

Women Win National Championship/Men Win Share of IVY Title

The women battled through the difficult semi and final rounds to win the National Championships at Yale last weekend.  The competition was fierce this season and a high level of parity between the top four teams.  Our women also had to deal with the pressure that comes with defending a National title.   We took early leads and then fought off furious comebacks in both the semi against Penn and final against Trinity.  Our opponents were the two most improved teams in the Howe division and it certainly showed.   The fifth match in the final came from Amanda Sobhy. She took the court against Kanzy Defrawy with the score at 4-3 to Harvard.  Defrawy is arguably Sobhy's closest competitor, having taken a game off of her two weeks prior.  Amanda was able to stay in front with an exciting 3-game victory, clinching the National Championship for the Crimson. 

No. 1 Amanda Sobhy (H) def. Kanzy El Defrawy (T) 3-0: 11-8, 11-7, 11-8?
No. 2 Catalina Pelaez (T) def. Laura Gemmell (H) 3-0: 11-5, 11-6, 11-9?
No. 3 Haley Mendez (H) def. Wee Nee Low (T) 3-1: 11-4, 11-8, 6-11, 11-8
No. 4 Ashley Tidman (T) def. Michelle Gemmell (H) 3-0: 11-7, 11-7, 11-7?
No. 5 Saumya Karki (H) def. Robyn Hodgson (T) 3-0: 11-4, 11-9, 11-5
No. 6 Natasha Kingshott (H) def. Natalie Babjukova (T) 3-1: 11-5, 12-10, 7-11, 11-7
No. 7 Sachika Balvani (T) def. Sarah Mumanachit (H) 3-1: 11-6, 11-8, 9-11, 11-1?
No. 8 Jennefier Pelletier (T) def. Julianne Chu (H) 3-0: 11-5, 11-2, 11-5?
No. 9 Megan Murray (H) def. Chanel Erasmus (T) 3-1: 11-2, 6-11, 12-10, 11-3
No. 10 Isabelle Dowling (H) def. Katiria Sanchez (T) 3-0: 11-9, 11-7, 11-6

The men faced Yale on Monday night for a share of the IVY title.  The match started at 7:00pm and did not finish until 11:30!  The pivotal moment of the match came at 9:45. After wins by Brandon McLaughlin, Matty Roberts, Nigel Koh, and Ali Farag, the score was 4-3 for Harvard with Gary Power and Captain Zeke Scherl starting on courts three and four.  The crowd rallied behind Zeke and he was able to finish off his opponent in four games, putting the Crimson over the top.  The team swarmed around Zeke in celebration as he left the court.  Gary maintained his composure throughout making the final score 6-3. It was the first IVY title for the Crimson since 2006. (Tommy Mullaney and Jason Michas both lost in 5 game nail-biters)

No. 1 Ali Farag (H) def. Kenneth Chan (Y) 3-0: 11-3, 11-3, 11-4?
No. 2 Brandon McLaughlin (H) def. Hywel Robinson (Y) 3-1: 5-11, 11-4, 11-4, 11-6?
No. 3 Nigel Koh (H) def. Richard Dodd (Y) 3-2: 11-8, 6-11, 8-11, 11-7, 11-0?
No. 4 Gary Power (H) def. Neil Martin (Y) 3-2: 12-10, 3-11, 10-12, 11-8, 11-6?
No. 5 Sam Fenwick (Y) def. Tyler Olson (H) 3-2: 11-2, 7-11, 5-11, 11-8, 11-5
No. 6 Zachary Leman (Y) def. Tommy Mullaney (H) 3-2: 11-6, 4-11, 4-11, 11-7, 11-8?
No. 7 Zeke Scherl (H) def. Eric Caine (Y) 3-1: 7-11, 11-7, 11-9, 11-5
No. 8 Charlie Wyatt (Y) def. Jason Michas (H) 3-2: 6-11, 11-3, 8-11, 11-4, 11-4?
No. 9 Matt Roberts (H) def. Joseph Roberts (Y) 3-1: 12-10, 16-14, 6-11, 11-9?
No. 10 Alexander Ma (H) def. Pehlaaj Bajwa (Y) 3-0: 11-8, 11-5, 11-9

Both Men's IVY and women's national titles were a testament to the hard work both on and off the court. No team is fitter and it shows. Our captains: Zeke Scherl, Jason Michas, Sarah Mumanachit and Natasha Kingshott have been dedicated to their teammates and displayed remarkable leadership throughout the year. 

After taking a day to rest and enjoy the win, the men got back to work in preparing for the National Championships at Yale this weekend.  As the no. 3 seed, we will play Rochester in the first round at 2:30 on Friday.  

Thanks very much to the parents and alumni who came out to support us last weekend!  We always appreciate a big cheering section.

For those who cannot attend this weekend, you can follow the scores on twitter, which will be ably manned by some of our freshman boys during the match @harvardsquash 

Here are video's featuring the final moments of both victories.

Check back tomorrow (Friday night) for an update on our first round match.

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