Amanda Sobhy Wins Second Straight Women's Intercollegiate Title

March 4, 2013 - 6:41am
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Original article appears on Harvard University athletics website

Amanda Sobhy finished her dominating run to the College Squash Association Individual National Championship Sunday with a decisive victory over Trinity's Kanzy El Defrawy to repeat as national champion Sunday afternoon at the George A. Kellner Center Sunday afternoon.

In the third meeting between the two in just under a month, Sobhy turned in her most impressive performance against the Trinity freshman in the Ramsay Cup final. The Harvard sophomore, who is now 30-0 in her collegiate career, took the first game, 11-4, to open up an early lead. She then won the second, 11-5, to put herself on the verge of clinching a second straight individual crown.

El Defrawy refused to go down without a fight, staving off a match point in the final game with the score 10-9; however, Sobhy won the next two points to prevail in the third, 12-10, and lock up the match win and the 13th women's individual national title in program history.

The performance capped a second straight dominant run to the finals by Sobhy. Prior to the final game, the most points she allowed in a single game during the tournament was five, and she swept all five matches, 3-0.

On her way to the finals, Sobhy beat Yale's Gwendoline Tilghman, 11-2, 11-2, 11-1, Penn's Rachel Goh, 11-3, 11-3, 11-4, Cornell's Danielle Letourneau, 11-1, 11-5, 11-3, and Penn's Yan Xin Tan, 11-5, 11-2, 11-5, to reach the championship match and upend El Defrawy for the third time this year.

While Sobhy earned a win in the title match, she was not the only member of the Crimson to walk away with a trophy on Sunday, as Michelle Gemmell won the first round consolation.

Gemmell swept Penn's Pia Trikha, 11-2, 11-9, 11-5, to roll to her fourth straight win in the tournament after dropping her opening match.

Haley Mendez also reached the final of the second round consolation, but she came up just short against Trinity's Catalina Pelaez. Mendez dropped the first game, 12-10, before rebounding with an 11-5 win in the second and an 11-3 victory in the third to take a 2-1 advantage. Pelaez won a pair of nailbiters, 12-10 and 11-9, in the final two games to take the match 3-2.

Sobhy's triumph closes a banner year for the Harvard women's squash team, which won its second consecutive national title two weeks ago. The Crimson also had the individual national champion for the second time in as many years and third time in the last four years.