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Trinity Men's Squash Rallies Back to Defeat St. Lawrence in CSA National Semifinals

Kush Kumar '20 (photo credit: CSA)
Kush Kumar '20 (photo credit: CSA)

Hartford, Conn. - Junior Tom De Mulder (Ghent, Belgium) and senior tri-captain Omar Allaudin (Lahore, Pakistan) fought back from 2-1 deficits just minutes apart before sophomore Kush Kumar (Dhampur, India) clinched the overall match with a 3-0 sweep at the No. 1 spot to lead the Trinity College men's squash team to a comeback, 5-4, victory over the St. Lawrence Saints on Saturday afternoon in the College Squash Association (CSA) Potter Trophy Semifinals at a packed Kellner Squash Center in Hartford. Top-seeded Trinity moves into its 20th CSA Finals in the last 21 years and will face the No. 3-seeded Harvard Crimson, who beat Columbia today, 6-3, for the title tomorrow at 2 p.m. The Bantams and Crimson squared off in last year's Potter Trophy Championship match at Harvard where Trinity captured its 16th title with a 5-4 triumph.

Watch Kumar's match-clinching point

Trinity jumped out to an early lead when senior tri-captain James Evans (Maidstone, England) made quick work of his opponent at the No. 9 spot, yielding just 14 total points. The Saints however won battles at No. 6 and No. 3, highlighted by a 3-1 victory by Moustafa Bayoumy (Cairo, Egypt) who stormed back to take the bout after falling in the first game. Leading 2-1 after the first wave, things got interesting in the second set of matches.

Bantam sophomore Andrew Lee (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia) dominated at No. 8 for a quick victory which tied the overall match at 2-2, however St. Lawrence responded with a win at No. 2 by Karim Ibrahim (Cairo, Egypt) to reclaim the lead, 3-2. Meanhwile, Hussien Elrayes (Cairo, Egypt) and Lenard Puski (Budapest, Hungary) jumped out to 2-1 leads at No. 7 and No. 5, putting Trinity up against the rope. Things took a turn in the Bantams favor in the fourth game at No. 5 thanks to a showcase by De Mulder, who won 11-0 to even the individual match, 2-2. Just a few moments later, Allaudin cruised to an 11-2 victory to also even his match. 

De Mulder and Puski battled in game five before the Bantam junior pulled away for an 11-8 win to seal the victory and tie the overall match, 3-3. Less than three minutes later on the neighboring court, Allaudin capped off his comeback with an 11-3 dismantling of Elrayes in the fifth game to give Trinity a 4-3 lead as the crowd in Kellner went wild. Meanwhile on the glass court, Kumar had already taken a 1-0 lead at No. 1 before unloading an 11-0 victory in the second game. With all of the attention turned to Kumar in the third game, the sophomore came through with an 11-8 win in the third set to cap off the sweep and send the Bantams faithful into a frenzy.