M. Squash Finishes Season

Jessica E. Schumer

Co-captain DYLAN PATTERSON, shown in earlier action, ended his career at this weekend’s CSA Individual Championiships. Patterson was eliminated by eventual intercollegiate champion Yasser El Halaby.

HARTFORD, Conn.—After the Harvard men’s squash team’s rousing 5-4 victory over Yale last weekend in the College Squash Association (CSA) Team Championships cemented its place as the No. 3 team in the country, seven members of the squad traveled to Trinity this weekend to take part in the CSA Individual Championships.

Every Crimson player there won at least one match, led by freshman Will Broadbent and junior James Bullock, who each garnered First-Team All-American honors.

Meanwhile, sophomore Gaurav Yadav, Harvard’s No. 8 player, won the “B” Malloy Division championship.

“I think it’s wonderful how well we performed with probably the smallest squad,” Crimson coach Satinder Bajwa said. “We didn’t have a lot of guys down here, but it’s a credit to all the guys on the team, even the ones that weren’t here, that each of these guys was prepared to win some matches.”

Bullock and Broadbent each lost in the round of 16 of the “A” Pool Division—comprised of the nation’s top 32 players—before squaring off in the finals of the Second Round Consolation draw.

The sixth-seeded Broadbent, Harvard’s No. 1 player, won his first match easily over 27th-seeded Max Montgelas of Williams, 9-1, 9-1, 9-4.

Broadbent had a tough match in the round of 16, however, when he faced 11th-seeded Nick Kyme of the Bantams. Broadbent and Kyme split the first two games before the Trinity senior took the pivotal third game 9-4 behind a growing supportive home crowd.

Broadbent went down 7-1 in the fourth before coming back to tie the game at seven, but Kyme won two tough points to close out the match and relegate Broadbent to the Second Round Consolation bracket.

There, he easily made his way to the finals, taking a methodical 3-0 victory over the Bantams’ fourteenth-seeded Yvain Badan and winning 3-1 versus eighteenth-seeded Nadeem Osman of Trinity. Against Osman, Broadbent dropped the first game 9-5 before cruising in the next three, 9-3, 9-2 and 9-1.

Bullock, the twelfth seed, also breezed through the first round of the main draw, defeating the Ephs’ 21st-seeded Parth Doshi 9-3, 9-5, 9-2.

But Bullock succumbed to the Bantam juggernaut as well, losing in three games to fifth-seeded Michael Ferreira to join Broadbent in the Second Round Consolation draw.

Bullock recovered from his loss to defeat thirteenth-seeded sophomore teammate Mike Blumberg before upsetting eighth-seeded Matthew Serediak of Cornell in four games to set up a meeting with Broadbent in the final. Serediak advanced to face Bullock by beating nineteenth-seeded Crimson co-captain Dylan Patterson in four games.

“James and Will both showed that they have the strength to compete in four or five matches in a row this weekend,” Bajwa said. “It was a long weekend, and that’s very tough to do against quality competition.”

Broadbent and Bullock had a hard-fought match, but Broadbent put his elder teammate away, winning 9-3, 9-5, 9-6.

“I had a bit of a tough draw against Kyme with the home-court advantage and he played a great match,” Broadbent said. “I’m glad I made the best of the situation though and won the rest of my matches. One of my goals at the beginning of the year was to be an All-American, and I’m really happy both James and I earned that award.”

Harvard No. 3 Blumberg and No. 4 Patterson also won first-round matches in the “A” Pool Division. Blumberg defeated Brown’s 20th-seeded Ben Oliner in five games before facing fourth-seeded No. 4 Julian Illingworth of Yale in the round of 16.

Blumberg led Illingworth in each of his first two games, but the Bulldog freshman recovered to stave off the challenge, winning 9-7, 9-7, 9-2.

“I thought I was moving really well early in the match and my shots were working,” Blumberg said. “But my leg started to bother me a little bit and I was never really able to get into a rhythm against him, which you have to do to beat a player like Illingworth.”

Patterson closed out his career with a victory over Trinity’s Jacques Swanipoel. Patterson then faced the eventual tournament champion, Princeton’s Yasser El-Halaby, turning in a gritty performance in losing in three games.

Junior Ziggy Whitman and sophomore Asher Hochberg had difficult draws in the “A” Pool Division, facing Kyme and 2001 intercollegiate champion David Yik of the Tigers, respectively. Each lost in three games.

Relegated to the Consolation draw, Hochberg and Whitman each picked up a victory. Whitman easily defeated Montgelas in three games, while Hochberg upset the Bantams’ 22nd-seeded Pat Malloy in an epic five-game contest. Hochberg, looking overmatched, dropped the first two games 9-3, but stormed back to win the last three 9-6, 10-9 and 9-5.

But Harvard’s most encouraging performance of the weekend may well have come from Yadav. The sophomore, seeded fifth in the “B” Malloy Division, won four matches to gain the chance to play for the Malloy Cup on Sunday on the main court.

Yadav had a grueling weekend of squash, including a five-game semifinal triumph over Franklin & Marshall’s George Edwards, the ninth seed.

In the final, Yadav went down two games to Hobart’s fourth-seeded Tejvir Rathore, losing 6-9 and 7-9 amidst a flurry of unforced errors on both sides.

In the third game, Yadav settled down and started running his opponent all over the court. From there he cruised to victory, winning 9-3, 9-3 and 9-5 in the last three games.

“Watching all the top players in the country play this weekend has really helped my game,” Yadav said. “They take the ball so much earlier at that level, and that’s what I tried to do, as well as cut down on my errors. I worked very hard all year, and I think my fitness helped me in a big way this weekend. I’m happy with the result, but I know I have a long way to go and I can’t wait for next year.”