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Trinity Men's Squash Earns Top Seed For This Weekend's National Championships At Harvard

Trinity Men's Squash Earns Top Seed For This Weekend's National Championships At Harvard

Hartford, Conn. - The Trinity College Bantam men's squash team, which has a 16-1 record after an 8-1 win against St. Lawrence on Saturday to close the regular season, will vie for a 16th College Squash Association (CSA) National Team Championship (Potter Trophy) title as the top seed this weekend at Harvard University from Friday, February 17 to Sunday, February 19. The Bantams, which won their 15th national title in the last 18 seasons in 2015 and captured their 11th consecutive New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Championship title earlier this month, are 6-1 against the other seven teams in the field.  Trinity will open post-season play against the No. 8-seeded University of Pennsylvania Quakers on Friday, February 17 at 3:30 p.m. 

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The Bantams, coached by Paul Assaiante (23rd season, 415-16), will face the winner of Friday's match featuring No. 4-seeded Rochester and No. 5-seeded St. Lawrence in the CSA Semifinals on Saturday, February 18 at noon if they win against Penn, and the CSA Finals will take place on Sunday, February 19 at 1 p.m.  The Potter Trophy consists of the top eight teams in intercollegiate squash in a three-round, single elimination tournament.  The other CSA Quarterfinal matches are No. 2-seeded Harvard against No. 7-seeded Yale, and No. 3-seeded Columbia against No. 6-seeded Drexel.  Trinity downed the Quakers, 8-1, in Philadelphia on January 8.

Trinity entered the final week of the 2016-17 regular season ranked No. 2 nationally, but used a 5-4 upset win at top-ranked Harvard and a decisive 8-1 triumph over No. 4-ranked St. Lawrence to vault itself to the top seed this weekend.  Sophomore Michael Craig (Belfast, Northern Ireland) came through with the clinching win in a grueling, five-game battle at the No. 4 spot on the ladder.  Craig, who also won 3-0 in the St. Lawrence match, was honored as the Harrow National Player of the Week for his outstanding play in the two matches.  Trinity first-year Kush Kumar (Chennai, India) won at the top spot on the ladder, 3-0, while junior tri-captain Rick Penders (Maastricht, Netherlands) won at No. 2, sophomore Thoboki Mohohlo (Hartford, Conn.) won at No. 3, and junior James Evans (Maidstone, England) remained flawless as a collegian with a 3-2 triumph at No. 8.

Trinity has a combined individual match record of 138-15 in its 17 matches this year, and first-year Andrew Lee (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia) leads the Bantams individually with a 13-0 record this winter, while Evans is 9-0 and owns Trinity best-ever career record at 45-0, and sophomore Mohohlo is 9-0 in his first year as a Bantam.  Junior Omar Allaudin (Lahore, Pakistan) has a team-high 16 wins against just one loss, while senior tri-captain Affeeq Ismail (Kuching, Malaysia) is 13-1, and rookie Yehia Essam (Brooklyn, N.Y.) is 10-1. Kumar is 9-3 at the top of the Trinity lineup, while Penders is 12-2 at the No. 2 spot.  Craig and fellow sophomore Tom De Mulder (Gent, Belgium) are 25-4 between them for the Bantams.

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