Bantams Look For 200th Straight Win Against Dartmouth Friday
Hartford, Conn., Feb. 16, 2009 - The Trinity College men's squash team, which has a 16-0 record after a 5-4 win at No. 2-ranked Princeton on Saturday, will attempt to defend its College Squash Association (CSA) Team Championship (Potter Trophy) title for the 10th consecutive time this weekend at Princeton. Trinity, which has been ranked No. 1 every week of the season, as well as the past 10 seasons, boasts a 199-match winning streak dating back to the 1998 campaign. The streak is the longest in the nation in any intercollegiate varsity sport. The Bantams, coached by Paul Assaiante (15th season, 257-10), will win their 200th match in a row with a victory in their quarterfinal match on Friday, February 20 and their 11th national championship in a row with three wins this weekend.
The Potter Trophy consists of the top eight teams in intercollegiate squash in a three-round, single elimination tournament. Top-seeded Trinity will play No. 8-seeded Dartmouth in the quarterfinal round on Friday, Feb. 20 at noon at Lawrenceville School, followed by the semifinals on Saturday Feb. 21 and the finals on Sunday Feb. 22. The Bantams defeated the Big Green, 9-0, on Jan. 17 in New Hampshire. The winner of Trinity's quarterfinal match will play the winner of Friday's match between No. 4-seeded Cornell and No. 5-seeded Harvard, while No. 2-seeded and Ivy League Champion Princeton will open against No. 7-seeded Pennsylvania and No. 3-seeded Yale plays No. 6-seeded Rochester in the other quarterfinal Friday.
Trinity's win against Princeton gave them an 11th consecutive undefeated dual match season and its 12th Dual Match Season Championship title in a row. At Princeton Saturday, Sophomore Andres Vargas (Bogota, Colombia) won the clinching match at the No. 7 spot, outlasting Tiger freshman Kelly Shannon (Calgary, Alberta), 3-2. Bantam sophomore Chris Binnie (Kingston, Jamaica) pulled out a 3-2 win against Tiger sophomore Peter Sopher (Washington, D.C.) at the No. 9 spot to put Trinity on the board, after Princeton had taken a 2-0 lead. Trinity senior captain Gustav Detter (Malmoe, Sweden) and freshman Vikram Malholtra (Mumbai, India) posted quick, 3-0 wins at No. 2 and No. 8, respectively, to knot the match at 3-3 and sophomore Parth Sharma (Jaipur, India) won, 3-1, in the No. 4 match to give the visitors a 4-3 lead with two matches remaining. Trinity and Princeton are overwhelming favorites to meet again in the CSA National Championship Finals on Sunday.
Trinity has a combined individual match record of 137-7 in its 16 wins this year, which also includes its third straight New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Championship title. Sharma leads Trinity with a 12-0 record, while Binnie is 11-0, senior captain Rushabh Vora (Mumbai, India) and Vargas are both 10-0, and Malholtra is 9-0. The Trinity men's roster includes five top-ten ranked individuals in the nation. Junior Baset Chaudhry (Lahore, Pakistan), the two-time, defending CSA National Singles Champion, is ranked as the top collegiate squash player in the country, followed by Detter at the No. 2 spot. Sharma at No. 8, Vargas at No. 9 and senior captain Manek Mathur (Mumbai, India) at No. 10 are the also among the nation's elite individuals.