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In its final competitive action of the season, Harvard men’s squash sent just one member, junior co-captain Bryan Koh, to compete in the Pool Division of the CSA Individual National Championships.
Participating in the event for the third straight time for the Crimson, Koh finished the weekend higher than his individual seeding for a third year with a 1-2 record overall. However, as the tournament field shifted from 32 to 16 players this season, the junior polished off the weekend with the highest individual ranking of his career.
“Squash-wise, I played possibly the best all season, and it's been a learning process tactically and mentally,” Koh said. “It's been a great year and I am happy with the improvements I've made since coming to college.”
Seeded 14th in the event, Koh faced off against the No. 3 seed, University of Rochester junior Mario Yanez, in the first round on Friday at Chelsea Piers in Stamford, Conn. The Singapore native was unable to best Yanez in a 3-0 decision, sending him to the consolation round.
In the first game of the match, Koh didn’t gain much traction, as Yanez came out firing in an 11-2 result. But after collecting himself in the 90 seconds between the first two sets, Koh put forth a more concerted effort throughout the rest of the match, losing the final two games by a total of four points—12-10, 11-9.
Building on his momentum from the back portion of the previous match, Koh pulled out a five game victory—8-11, 11-9, 11-5, 10-12, 11-5—against his competitor in the quarterfinals of the consolation round, Bates’ ninth-seeded Ahmed Hatata.
Koh was unable to continue the streak against his next opponent in the semis. A defeat against Penn’s Marwan Mahmoud—11-6, 11-9, 11-8—forced the junior out of the tournament. The loss ended Koh’s individual unbeaten streak against the Quaker’s top three players this season, as he previously bested the two players directly below Mahmoud at the top of Penn’s ladder, Hayes Murphy and Karim Tarek, during team events.
—Staff writer Jackson M. Reynolds can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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