By JT MEHR
The men’s squash team had quite an eventful past week, culminating in a 9-0 defeat against NESCAC rival Williams College. The victory over Williams not only kept the Bantams undefeated, but also made them the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) champions for the eighth consecutive year.
On Jan. 25, the Bantams played a home match against the University of Rochester. First year starter Affeeq Ismail ’17, playing in the number 8, swept his opponent by a combined score of 33-11. This set the tone early in the matches for the Bantams. Sophomores Zeyad Elshorafy ’16, Karan Malik ’16 and Juan Vargas ’16 recorded wins for Trinity, along with Juniors Moustafa Hamada ’15 and Elroy Leong ’15. Matthew Mackin ‘14 also won at the number 9 position, leading the Bantams to a 7-2 victory over the Yellowjackets.
Later the same week, the Princeton Tigers rolled in to Hartford on Wednesday, Jan. 29, to take on the Bantams in front of a packed crowd at the Kellner Center. Despite struggling at the top three spots, the Bantams won at each of the bottom six positions en route to 6-3 defeat of the Tigers. Elroy Leong ’15 played a tremendous match in the no. 5 position, outscoring Taylor Tutorne of Princeton 33-11. This win boosted the Bantams overall record to 12-0 and gave them their 161st win in a row at home.
After back-to-back home matches against Rochester and Princeton, Trinity travelled to upstate New York to compete in the NESCAC Championship at Hamilton College. The Bantams had a long day of competition on Saturday, but they didn’t disappoint. Trinity first squared off against the eighth seeded Mules of Colby College in the quarterfinals. From the get-go, the Bantams were playing with high energy and had little trouble against Colby, winning the match 9-0. Not even one player for the Bantams gave up a set to the Mules. Later that afternoon, Trinity faced Middlebury in semifinals play. Yet again, the Bantams won the match 9-0. Junior Pranay Merchant recorded his second victory of the tournament, in straight sets, at the number 9 position. This capped off a perfect day for the Bantams, putting them in the NESCAC finals on Sunday.
For the championship game, Trinity competed against the Williams College Ephs. Like most of their matches, the Bantams were able to defeat the Ephs 9-0. Many of the players for the Bantams posted 3-0 records for the weekend, including Moustafa Hamada ’15, Miled Zarazua ’15 and Juan Vargas ’16. In the span of only two days, Trinity beat its three opponents in the NESCAC conference tournament 27-0. With the win over Williams, Trinity currently has a 34 match-winning streak and a record of 15-0 for the season. The no. 1 nationally ranked Bantams host the Harvard Crimson, ranked just behind the Bantams at no.2, on Tuesday at the Kellner Center. This is looking to be of the best, and arguably most important, matches that Trinity will compete in this season.
Following the match against Harvard, the Bantams will host St. Lawrence on Feb. 8. The team will then travel to Harvard from February 14-16 for the CSA Team Championships. Trinity is looking to wrap up their season with yet another National Championship.