Harvard women's squash, winners of seven consecutive CSA national champions, are buoyed by the strength of three players from Egypt. Hailing from a country with a long, rich tradition of squash excellence, Hana Moataz, Habiba Eldafrawy, and Amina Yousry made their impact known on the Crimson.
With two new College Squash Association (CSA) team national championships already in the trophy case, the Harvard squash program set out this weekend to give players their chances to shine at the CSA Individual Nationals. Victor Crouin ended up winning the Pool Trophy, while Hana Moataz came in second in the Ramsay Cup.
The Harvard women’s squash team has been on a mission this season to solidify Cambridge, Mass. as the epicenter of squash in the country. And this weekend, it succeeded in doing just that by taking home a national title for the seventh consecutive season.
For the past six years, Harvard’s women have dominated the college squash scene in a storm of rackets and rubber balls, winning five consecutive Ivy League titles and nine out of the last eleven College Squash Association (CSA) championships. Sunday afternoon’s showdown marked Harvard’s sixth and final Ivy League match-up this season. More importantly, the game also presented the Crimson with an opportunity to cap off a perfect league record and claim the Ivy League crown for the sixth year in a row.
Coming off of a big win against No.3 Princeton, Harvard Women’s Squash (11-0, 6-0) earned their No. 1 ranking in a 9-0 sweep against Amherst and a dominant 7-2 victory against Cornell. The victories improved the team’s record to 92-0 in the College Squash Association (CSA). The No.2 Men’s program (10-1, 5-1 Ivy) swept both Cornell and Amherst 9-0, raising its tally of clean sweeps to seven this season.
The squeak of shoes on hardwood filled the air Wednesday night as No. 1 Harvard women’s squash (3-0, 2-0 Ivy League) faced off against Dartmouth (0-1, 0-1 Ivy League). The Crimson put on an excellent display of skill, seamlessly dismantling its opponents from Hanover 8-1, while the No. 2 Harvard men's squash program (5-0, 2-0 Ivy League) simultaneously took to the courts, securing a 9-0 win against The Big Green (0-1, 0-1 Ivy League).
Amanda Sobhy ’15 and Haley Mendez ’15, back row fourth from the left and back row fifth from the left, respectively, pose after capturing the 2015 National Championship. While not a member of the 2015 squad, and thus not pictured, Sabrina Sobhy ’19 would go on to capture four national championships in her four years with the Crimson.
Life on the Tour: Amanda Sobhy ’15, Haley Mendez ’15, and Sabrina Sobhy ’19 Reflect on Time at Harvard, Pro Squash Careers
Of the top 50 female athletes in professional squash, three are former Crimson stars. Amanda Sobhy ’15, Haley Mendez ’15, and Sabrina Sobhy ’19, ranked fifth, 42nd, and 20th respectively, all played as members of Harvard’s elite squash team before pursuing full-time careers on the Professional Squash Association World Tour.
More than half of Harvard’s athletics teams have pledged to attain perfect voter turnout in the November elections. Twenty-four teams partnered with Harvard Votes Challenge, a student-led group run through the Institute of Politics that aims to secure 100 percent voter turnout across the University.
For many athletes, elevated expectations come with crippling performance challenges. But as Harvard squash champion Gina Kennedy went from being one of the top performers in the country to becoming the player to beat in all of women’s college squash, she dazzled under the spotlight.
Harvard women's squash defeated No. 2 Princeton to take home the Howe Cup. This marks the sixth consecutive year in which Harvard has won the national championship.
Senior squash co-captain Gina Kennedy commands one of the most demanding schedules on campus between training, school, and matches. In such an individual sport, the veteran star talks performance, teamwork, and the future.
Friday’s win against No. 13 Brown (pictured above) and Sunday’s triumph versus No. 4 Yale would mark the Crimson’s 12th and 13th victories against ranked opponents, helping Harvard to its perfect 13-0 record. Feb. 15 will break the ranked opponent streak for the Crimson as the team squares off with an unranked foe for the first time this season against the Big Red of Cornell.
After bursting out to a commanding 2-0 lead over her opponent, No. 3 Trinity College’s Nanna Carleke, Harvard junior Hannah Craig fell just short in the third and fourth games. In the decisive fifth game, Craig responded with a dominating showing, overwhelming Carleke with an 11-2 victory to secure the seventh seed matchup for the Crimson. It was one of Harvard’s eight victories in its 8-1 romping of the Bantams on Feb. 5.
Not only did both squash teams meet those expectations, but they smashed them, as both went undefeated and cruised to national championships.