Squash Teams Head To CSA Nationals; Harrity, Cerullo Eye Top Prizes
Led by respective No. 1 players Todd Harrity and Julie Cerullo, the Princeton men's and women's squash teams will head to Amherst, Mass., this weekend for the 2012 CSA individual national championships. Harrity is the reigning men's champion, while Cerullo made the semifinals last year.
On the men's side, Harrity enters the weekend as the third seed in the Pool Division and will open play Friday at 12:20 against Maricio Sedano of Franklin & Marshall. A win could earn him a second-round match with Tiger teammate Tyler Osborne, who faces off against Dartmouth No. 2 Nicholas Sisodia in the first round.
Harrity's two highest-ranked opponents on the path to a third straight national final are Cornell's Nick Sachvie, whom Harrity beat in the 2011 national final, and Columbia's Ramit Tandon, the second seed who defeated Harrity in the regular season finale.
The top half of the draw is led by Harvard sophomore Ali Farag, who went undefeated on the season. Princeton senior Chris Callis is hoping for a quarterfinal showdown with him, though he would need to get through a tough first two rounds. He opens with Rochester's Joe Chapman, and he could see Trinity's Antonio Diaz Glez in the second round. Diaz Glez beat Callis in two hard-fought five-game matches this season.
Fellow Princeton senior Kelly Shannon will open play against Penn No. 1 Thomas Mattsson, and could see Dartmouth No. 1 Chris Hanson in the second round. Shannon proved his mettle in several big-time moments; he topped Hanson and three other Top-10 players in the CSA individual championships last year. More famously, he won the decisive match in the 2012 team national final, which ended Trinity's 13-year championship streak.
Freshman Samuel Kang also made the main draw, and he will open with fourth-seeded Vikram Malhotra of Trinity in the first round.
Cerullo will look to at least match her semifinal effort in the Ramsay Division, and she will open that journey Friday against Trinity's Jennifer Pelletier, who played No. 5 for the Bantams. A win would set up a second-round showdown with either Natasha Kingshott of Harvard or Nabilla Ariffin of Penn. Her quarter is led by Trinity's Catalina Pelaez, who earned the fourth seed with a 3-2 win over Cerullo in the Howe Cup third-place match. Cerullo would love another opportunity against Pelaez after missing out on three match balls the last time.
Sophomore Libby Eyre will open play with Yale's Katie Ballaine, who played No. 5 for Yale. Classmate Lexi Saunders will also open against a Bulldog, though her opponent has significantly different experience at this event. Saunders will take on Millie Tomlinson, the second seed and reigning national individual champion.
Senior captain Katie Giovinazzo opens against Cornell No. 1 Danielle Letourneau, younger sister of former Princeton men's player David Letourneau. Freshman Nicole Bunyan will take on Nessrine Ariffin of Bates College; a win would likely send her against third-seeded Laura Gemmell of Harvard; Gemmell won the 2010 national title.
Both teams will also have a presence in the 'B' draw. On the men's side, both Clay Blackiston and Dylan Ward received first-round byes. On the women's side, Alex Sawin earned the No. 1 seed and will look to take one step further from her effort in the Holleran Cup last season; she reached the 2011 individual final before falling to teammate Giovinazzo. Freshman Alex Lunt is also in the draw.