Trinity Cruises Once Again

No. 2 M. Squash can’t upset Bantams in CSA Team Championships final

Alexandra C. Bell

The writers of the official program for the CSA Team Championships accidentally hinted at the outcome of yesterday’s championship match long before the players even took the court.

In the program’s list of past champions, the 2005 champion—although at the time still undecided—was listed at Trinity. Realizing the error, some poor soul scurried through the hundreds of programs and whited out the mistake so that the lettering was barely visible.

As it turned out, the cover up wasn’t necessary.

For the second straight year, the No. 2 Harvard men’s squash team lost to No. 1 Trinity in the national championship match. The Bantams beat the Crimson 7-2 in front of a standing room crowd at the Murr center, extending their unprecedented winning streak to 125 consecutive matches. The championship also marks Trinty’s seventh in a row.

Aided by an enthusiastic—and at times raucous—contingent from Trinity, the Bantams once again distinguished themselves as the best in the nation.

“Trinity raised their level,” Harvard coach Satinder Bajwa said. “And they definitely took some potential losing situations and turned them around into winning situations...They turned it around with a lot of heart.”

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TRINITY 7, HARVARD 2

After cruising through both the quarterfinals against Cornell on Friday and the semifinals against Yale on Saturday, Harvard appeared set to make a serious run at the national championship.

But as was the case a year ago, the Crimson came up just a little short.

The crushing blow came once again from intercollegiate No. 6 Reggie Schonborn at the No. 2 position. On Feb. 12, Schonborn beat intercollegiate No. 2 junior Will Broadbent in a five-game marathon to extinguish any hopes Harvard had then of upsetting Trinity.

This time Schonborn broke the Crimson’s hearts by knocking off intercollegiate No. 7 sophomore Ilan Oren who took Broadbent’s place at No. 2.

Oren started strong against Schonborn, opening up an early 8-4 lead in the first game. But Schornborn fought off the game point and rallied to eventually win the game 10-9. Oren was able to take the second game 10-9, but the opening game loss clearly had taken its toll on the sophomore, as he lost both the third and fourth games 9-7 and 9-6, respectively.

“He’s a very emotional player,” said Harvard assistant coach Mohammed Ayaz of Oren. “He can do wonderful things all over the court, but sometimes he comes a little bit on the wrong end of doing some things...he got a little bit unlucky. He had a lead in every game.”

Oren’s loss proved even more costly as freshman Chessin Gertler dropped his match at the No. 8 spot just moments before Schornborn closed out Oren. Those two losses combined with losses from captain Asher Hochberg, and sophomores Mihir Sheth and Jason De Lierre, gave Trinty five victories in the first six matches and clinched its seventh straight national title.

The few bright spots for the Crimson came from intercollegiate No. 7 senior Michael Blumberg at No. 3 and intercollegiate No. 2 junior Will Broadbent at No. 4.

Blumberg beat Trinity for the second time this season—he earned the sole Harvard victory in the teams’ first meeting this year—beating No. 11 Shaun Johnstone in four games.

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