Princeton, N.J. - Junior Baset Chaudhry (Lahore, Pakistan) scored nine straight points to overcome a 5-0 deficit and win the fifth game of the clinching match to lead the visiting Trinity College Bantams to a 5-4 victory over the Princeton University Tigers in the finals of the College Squash Association (CSA) National Championship (Potter Trophy) Finals this afternoon at Jadwin Courts. Trinity, ranked No. 1 in the nation and seeded No. 1 in the tournament, wins its 11th consecutive CSA National title, its 202nd match in a row, and finishes the season with a 19-0 record. Trinity's 202-game winning streak is the longest active winning streak in any intercollegiate varsity sport. No. 2-ranked Princeton closes the year at 13-2.
Trinity senior captain Manek Mathur (Mumbai, India) came back from a 9-0 defeat in his third game to take the fourth and fifth games, 9-1, and, 9-2, respectively, against Princeton freshman Chris Callis (Wyndmoor, Pa.) and give the Bantams a 1-0 lead. Tiger sophomore Peter Sopher (Washington, D.C.) won a 3-1 decision against Bantam senior captain Rushabh Vora (Mumbai, India) in the No. 9 match to tie the score at 1-1, and Tiger senior tri-captain Hesham El-Halaby (Cairo, Egypt) outlasted Bantam junior Supreet Singh (Mumbai, India), 3-2, at the No. 6 spot to put the Tigers ahead, 2-1.
Trinity freshman Vikram Malholtra (Mumbai, India) blanked Princeton junior Santiago Imberton (San Salvador, El Salvador), 3-0, in the No. 8 match to tie the score at 2-2, but Tiger junior David Canner (Burke, Va.) bested Trinity sophomore Randy Lim (Penang, Malaysia) in the No. 5 match, 3-1, to put Princeton back ahead at 3-2. The Tigers appeared poised for a fourth point, as senior tri-captain Kimlee Wong (Hong Kong) led Bantam senior captain Gustav Detter (Malmoe, Sweden), 2-0, but Detter came back to win the next three games and pull out the victory. Wong was plagued by apparent leg cramps as play wore on, and Detter took full advantage of his own superior fitness during the marathon match that evened the score once again, 3-3.
Trinity junior Andres Vargas (Bogota, Colombia) and Princeton sophomore David Letourneau (Calgary, Alberta) each led his match, 2-0, but both dropped the final three games to bring the score to 4-4 with one match yet undecided. Tiger freshman Kelly Shannon (Calgary, Alberta) came back from 2-0 to defeat Vargas and, soon after, Bantam sophomore Parth Sharma (Jaipur, India) scored the last two points of the fifth game to win, 9-7, and take the No. 4 match over Letourneau.
Chaudhry and Princeton senior tri-captain No. 1 Mauricio Sanchez (Mexico City, Mexico) played to a 1-1 stalemate in their first two games, and Chaudhry took the third game, 9-5, minutes after Sharma's triumph. Sanchez won the fourth game, 9-2, and went ahead in the fifth game, 5-0, but Chaudhry took over from there with nine unanswered points to deliver Trinity the victory and its 11th consecutive national crown. Sanchez had beaten Chaudhry, the CSA National Singles Champion in 2008, 3-2, on Feb. 14 in the regular season meeting between the two teams.
"Well, this was the toughest win in the finals that we've ever had," said Trinity Head Coach Paul Assaiante. "Princeton did everything that they needed to do as players and coaches to put themselves in position to win this thing, but somehow we were able to come out on top. Baset was dead in the water until he scored those nine in a row. I don't understand it but it was amazing."
1. TC- Baset Chaudhry d. Mauricio Sanchez, 3-2
2. TC- Gustav Detter d. Kimlee Wong, 3-2
3. TC- Manek Mathur d. Chris Callis, 3-2
4. TC- Parth Sharma d. David Letourneau, 3-2
5. P- David Canner d. Randy Lim, 3-1
6. P- Hesham El-Halaby d. Supreet Singh, 3-2
7. P- Kelly Shannon d. Andres Vargas, 3-2
8. TC- Vikram Malholtra d. Santiago Imberton, 3-0
9. P- Peter Sopher d. Rushabh Vora, 3-1
Trinity (Conn.) 5, Princeton 4