NEW YORK - The 2013 College Squash Association Individual National Championships will kick off Friday, March 1 on the campus of Trinity with five Columbia student-athletes in action. Ramit Tandon, Mohamed AbdelMaksoud and Tony Zou will represent the men, while Reyna Pacheco and Alisha Maity will compete for the women.
Sophomore Ramit Tandon enters his second Pool Trophy (A Division) as the fourth seed with a 15-3 mark. Tandon, the 2012 CSA Individual National Championships runner-up for the Pool Trophy, will open the tournament with a Friday afternoon matchup against Yale Zachary Leman. Leman played as Yale's No. 6 when the Lions and Bulldgos met back on Jan. 13. If Tandon gets past Leman, he will be back on the court Friday night in the round of 16 against the winner of Neil Cordell (Rochester) and Miled Zarazua (Trinity), two teams that Columbia did not play this season.
Fellow sophomore Mohamed AbdelMaksoud and senior Tony Zou will take to the courts in Hartford, Conn. in the Molloy Cup (B Division). AbdelMaksoud and Zou have split time at the No. 2 and 3 spots for Columbia.
AbdelMaksoud, who is getting ready to conclude his first season at Columbia, posted an impressive 12-4 record, including going 5-0 as the Lions' No. 3. As the top seed in the Molloy Cup, AbdelMaksoud received a bye in the round of 64 and will face the winner of the Christopher Jung (Dartmouth) and Aditya Advani (Tufts) match Friday afternoon.
Zou is making his third consecutive appearance at the Molloy Cup after going 8-10 this season. Zou registered a pair of wins at last weekend's Team Nationals, downing Navy's Hunter Beck and Dartmouth's Jung. His opening round opponent in the round of 64 will be Middlebury's Parker Hurst. The pair met back on Jan. 26 with Hurst coming away with the win.
On the women's side, first-year Pacheco and sophomore Maity will both compete for the Holleran Cup (B Division).
Pacheco began her collegiate career with a 6-10 mark this season, playing almost exclusively as the Lions' No. 2. Two weeks ago at the CSA Team Nationals, the San Diego native helped lead Columbia past George Washington with a come-from-behind five-game victory over Jacqueline Shea. Pacheco's first round opponent will be Tuft's Jessica Rubine Friday morning, with Penn's Chloe Blacker waiting in the round of 32.
Maity finished the season with a 5-11 record, seeing match time at Nos. 2-4 of the ladder. Maity was also a major contributor to the Lions' win over George Washington, topping Emely Levyn in four games. Ivy League foe Lindsey Seginson from Cornell will serve as Maity's first round opponent with second-seeded Katiria Sanchez (Trinity) set to play the winner Friday evening.
Continue to check GoColumbiaLions.com and CollegeSquashAssociation.com all weekend for updates from Hartford. Fans can also visit the tournament central page HERE.