Hartford, Conn. - The Trinity College Bantams fell, 9-0, against the Harvard University Crimson in the 2019 College Squash Association (CSA) National Team Championship (Howe Cup) Finals this afternoon at the Kellner Squash Center on Trinity's campus in Hartford. The Bantams, returning to the National Championship match for the second time in as many seasons, complete team competition with a 17-3 record, with two of its three losses coming against the Crimson. Harvard capped off a perfect, 13-0 season, bringing home its fifth consecutive national championship in the process. Harvard's eighth title in the past ten seasons is its 20th overall – the most of any program in the country.
"Our goal this season was to get back to the finals and we had to work really hard," said Head Coach Wendy Bartlett (35th season). "This team peaked at the right time and we played so well this weekend, beating Penn and Princeton. Harvard is just that good and we gave everything we could. We had to fight for every point. It was good to see them play better than the last time we faced them [in Cambridge]."
Harvard swept the first wave to jump out to an early 3-0 lead en route to the sweep. Hana Moataz (Cairo, Egypt) swept Trinity senior co-captain Jenny Haley (Newport, Wales) in the No. 6 match before Hannah Craig (Belfast, Northern Ireland) won, 3-0, at the No. 9 spot to give Harvard a quick, 2-0 lead. Trinity junior Salma Alam El Din (Cairo, Egypt) won the first game at No. 3 over Amelia Henley (Kent, U.K.) but Henley stormed back to win and give the Crimson a 3-0 lead after the first wave.
Amina Yousry (Cairo, Egypt) and Gina Kennedy (Beckenham, U.K.) won at No. 5 and No. 2, respectively, to give Harvard a 4-0 lead while Sophie Mehta (Toronto, Ontario) and Bantam junior Lakeesha Rarere (Hastings, New Zealand) battled it out at No. 8. Mehta came out on top, 12-10, in a hard-fought first game before taking the next two games, 11-3 and 11-8, to clinch the championship for Harvard.
Eleonore Evans (Baltimore, Md.) and Kayley Leonard (Harrison, N.Y.) won via 3-0 scores before Sabrina Sobhy (Sea Cliff, N.Y.) won at No. 1 to cap off the 9-0 victory. Trinity rookie Sarahi Lopez (Zapopan, Mexico) won the first game, 11-6, but Sobhy ran away with the next three to complete the match.
"I'm proud of this team. A lot of things can happen and I think we did really well by getting back to the championship and finishing ranked No. 2."
1. H - Sabrina Sobhy d. Sarahi Lopez 6-11, 11-3, 11-3, 11-8
2. H - Gina Kennedy d. Min Jie Teh 11-4, 12-10, 11-5
3. H - Amelia Henley d. Salma Alam El Din 5-11, 13-11, 11-9, 11-8
4. H - Kayley Leonard d. Vanessa Raj 11-9, 11-2, 11-3
5. H - Amina Yousry d. Akanksha Salunkhe 11-7, 11-5, 11-0
6. H - Hana Moataz d. Jenny Haley 11-8, 11-4, 11-7
7. H - Eleonore Evans d. Nadiia Usenko 11-2, 11-7, 11-7
8. H - Sophie Mehta d. Lakeesha Rarere 12-10, 11-3, 11-8
9. H - Hannah Craig d. Ashita Bhengra 11-9, 11-9, 11-6
Harvard 9, Trinity (Conn.) 0