Hartford, Conn. - The Trinity College men's squash team, led by Head Coach Paul Assaiante (26th season), begins its 75th season ranked No. 2 in the College Squash Association (CSA) National Poll. Trinity, which won their 13th-straight New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) crown and played its way into the CSA Finals last winter, opens the season officially against MIT on Tuesday, December 3 at 6 p.m. Senior tri-captains Kush Kumar (Chennai, India), Andrew Lee (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia), and Patrick O'Sullivan (Glasgow, Scotland) provide leadership to Trinity large roster of 28 player including 11 first-year prospects.
Lee is a proven winner with a 39-5 career record, including several clutch performances in championship matches, and received a CSA Scholar Athlete Award last season. He enters his third season as a starter, solidifying the middle of the Trinity lineup. Fellow senior Yehia Essam (Brooklyn, N.Y.) returns to the squad after a semester off, and brings the experience of his 22-4 career mark back to the Bantams in 2019-20. O'Sullivan has not loss in his 14 career matches, and has played his way into contention for a starting role in his final year, while Andrew Dolente (Devon, Pa.) is another senior providing valuable depth. Kumar and classmate Thoboki Mohohlo (Johannessburg, South Africa), both two-time All Americans, are also back from the senior class. Both have been slowed by injuries in pre-season, but will be welcomed back to the lineup at some point this year.
Michael Craig (Belfast, Northern Ireland) makes his return to the Bantams after a year hiatus in 2019-20. A two-time All-American and the 2018 NESCAC Player of the Year, Craig will play a vital role in the early part of the season as the lone veteran in the top third of the ladder. Craig is 46-12 in his career including a 17-2 mark in 2017-18 as Trinity's No. 3 player. Two first-years, Mike Aijanen (Jarvenpaa, Finland) and Ali El Toukhy (Cairo, Egypt), have earned the other two spots in Trinity's top third. The Bantams' opening lineup will also include juniors Aryaman Adik (Mumbai, India) and Ziad Sakr (Tanta, Egypt), a 2018 All American, who have combined for a 61-16 record in two seasons, and sophomore Aly Tolba (Alexandria, Egypt), who won 11 games in a promising rookie campaign.
The early part of the Bantam season will feature fierce competition among several returnees and promising rookies. Sophomore Will Curtis (Joondalup, Australia) earned valuable experience with 14 wins in his first college season a year ago. Classmate Martin Rios (Granite Bay, Calif.) has developed steadily after a productive first year, while first-years Utkarsh Baheti (Jaipur, India), Alex Bernhard (New York, N.Y.), and Will Jones (Greenwich, Conn.) are anxious to make an impact.
"After such a long pre-season we just can't wait to play against someone with a different color uniform," said Assaiante. "We are excited to play against some great opponents with four matches in five days to start the year."