Columbia Squash Ousted in Main Draws; Zou Closes Career with Consolation Runner-Up Finish
HARTFORD, Conn. - The Columbia squash program had three student-athletes in action Saturday on day two of the 2013 College Squash Association Individual National Championships. Unfortunately for the Lions, each of the competitors fell in their first match of the day.
In the Pool Trophy (A Division, men), the fourth seeded Ramit Tandon split the first two games with fifth-seeded Khalek Abdel from Bates. Abdel took over from there though, winning the next two games, 11-6, 11-5.
Mohamed AbdelMaksoud also fell in four games Saturday in the Molloy Cup (B Division). Amherst's Noah Browne captured the first game and then took the third and fourth to knocked off the top-seeded sophomore from Columbia.
In the women's Holleran Cup (B Division), Reyna Pacheco dropped a straight-game decision to fifth-seeded Alexis Saunders from Princeton.
The Individual National Championships conclude the third varsity season for both the Columbia men's and women's teams.
Senior Tony Zou capped a stellar 2012-13 campaign with a runner-up finish in the consolation bracket of the Molloy Cup.
Zou began competition in the consolation draw Friday, March 1 with a four-game win over Stanford's William Mohr, 9-11, 11-2, 11-2, 11-8. He quickly came back Saturday morning with a sweep of Franklin & Marshall's Antonio De La Torre in the consolation quarterfinals.
Saturday afternoon's semifinals contest brought a much tougher test in Princeton's Michael LeBlanc. LeBlanc jumped out to an early two game lead on Columbia's co-captain, but Zou charged back to win the final three games to secure a spot in the consolation finals Sunday morning.
In the finals, Zou built a 2-1 lead, but Trinity's Matthew Mackin put together two winning sets to capture the consolation title. Despite the loss, the 3-2 record at this year's individual championships is the best of Zou's career. He is also the first three-time participant in the CSA Individual Championships in Columbia squash history.