Women's Squash's Sobhy Remains Perfect, Repeats as National Champion
Sophomore Amanda Sobhy recorded five straight sweeps this past weekend at the College Squash Association Women’s Individual National Championships at Trinity College to win her second straight Ramsay Cup.
Sobhy faced Kanzy El Defrawy of Trinity in the final, beating her, 11-4, 11-5, 12-10.
Sobhy remains undefeated through her collegiate career, a winning streak that now spans two full seasons. Even more impressive, Sobhy has only dropped one game through all of her wins, a first-game loss to El Defrawy on Feb. 6. Despite the dropped game, Sobhy went on to win, 6-11, 11-2, 11-6, 11-3.
“I think she was a little more nervous this time,” Harvard coach Mike Way said. “Her opponent in the final, Kanzy, had taken a game off her in their match during the season, and this match was held on Kanzy’s home court.”
Sobhy did more than defend her title this weekend—she cemented herself as the player to beat in women’s squash. Sobhy entered the weekend as the No. 1 seed and heavy favorite, and she proved up to the task.
“Amanda was actually more dominating in this match, despite having to play on Kanzy’s home court and having the crowd against her,” Way said. “What stood out more than anything this time was [Sobhy’s] retrieving. She had some absolutely stunning gets.”
Sobhy cruised all weekend, starting off by allowing just five points in an easy 3-0 win over Gwendoline Tilgham of Yale. She also topped Rachel Goh of Penn, Danielle Letourneau of Cornell, and Yan Xin Tan of Penn by 3-0 margins on her way to the matchup with El Defrawy, who is Trinity’s No. 1.
“I just went in there and was very serious in each of my matches,” Sobhy said. “I didn’t fool around. I just went in there and got the job done.”
Coming into the national championships undefeated at the collegiate level, Sobhy had to deal with a unique type of pressure.
“She is just so much better than the rest of the competition that it really comes down to just getting the job done,” Way said. “The pressure is there because everyone simply expects her to win.”
Though Sobhy may have felt the pressure of being the favorite, her performance showed otherwise. Until the last game of the finals, no opponent scored more than five points against her in any game this weekend.
“I knew coming in that there would be a lot of pressure on me,” Sobhy said. “I just try not to think about that pressure. If I thought about it, that would create more pressure on me, so I just go in there and try to be relaxed as possible.”
Just two weekends ago, Sobhy helped lead Harvard to a 5-4 win over Trinity to capture the team’s national championship. She beat El Defrawy, 11-8, 11-7, 11-8, to clinch the title for the Crimson.
“It is an incredibly long season, so for [Sobhy] to come in and perform at her best is really impressive,” co-captain Natasha Kingshott said. “She was just a powerhouse this weekend, and we are all so proud of what she has accomplished.”
Way, in his third year coaching at Harvard, says it is a privilege to work with Sobhy.