US SQUASH

Khalifa Wins Columbia’s Maiden College Individual Title; Kennedy Reclaims Ramsay Cup for Harvard

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Osama Khalifa (r) and Mario Yanez. (image: Michael T. Bello)

The 2017 College Individual Championships yielded two first-time champions in the form of Osama Khalifa, who captured Columbia’s first college individual title, and Gina Kennedy, who upset University of Pennsylvania’s Reeham Sedky to bring the Ramsay Cup back to Harvard Sunday afternoon at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire.

Khalifa, reached the final in his first individuals in 2015, but exited the 2016 tournament in the quarterfinals against eventual champion Ahmed Abdel Khalek while carrying a back injury. The junior entered this weekend as the top seed, and reached the final with just one game lost against Trinity’s Thoboki Mohohlo in the semifinals. Last year, Rochester’s Ryosei Kobayashi became the Yellowjackets first individual finalist, and for the second year in a row Rochester had representation in the final in the form of senior Mario Yanez.

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Gina Kennedy (r) and Reeham Sedky. (image: Michael T. Bello/mtbello.com)

Yanez upset two St. Lawrence players to reach the final, two seed Mohamed El Gawarhy in a five-game quarterfinal, and Ahmed Bayoumy in a four-game semfinal. The final proved to be all-Khalifa, who stormed through the first game 11-1, and continued his momentum to dominate the final in three games 11-6, 11-5, and claim first the Pool Trophy for the Lions.

The ensuing Ramsay Cup final came down to the top two seeds with Penn’s one seed and 2016 finalist Sedky, and Harvard first-year and two seed Kennedy. Both players reached the final with relative ease with Sedky recording three, three-game wins, and Kennedy dropping just one game in the semifinals.

A close and at times contentious final saw Kennedy take the first two games 11-9, 13-11, but Sedky took the third 11-9 to force a fourth game. In the fourth, Sedky fought off several match balls, until Kennedy clinched the title 11-7.

Kennedy’s Ramsay Cup title mark’s the Crimson’s first since Amanda Sobhy’s four consecutive titles from 2011-2015.

For more individuals coverage visit www.collegesquashassociation.com.

 

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