Hartford, Conn. – Senior Chris Binnie (Kingston, Jamaica) prevailed under pressure to give the Trinity College Bantams their fifth point in a 5-4 comeback victory over the Yale Bulldogs today in the College Squash Association (CSA) National Championship Final at the Murr Center at Harvard University. Trinity earns its record 13th consecutive National Championship Title and extends the longest winning streak in the history of intercollegiate varsity sports to 244 games in a row, ending their season with a flawless 20-0 record.
Yale held a 3-2 lead heading into the final round of games, but Trinity strung off three wins in the next four games, with their backs against the wall, to escape with victory. Junior Vikram Malholtra (Mumbai, India) tied the score at 3-3 with a 3-0 win in the No. 1 spot, before junior John Roberts (Belfast, Ireland) would put Yale back on top, 4-3, with a tight 5-set win. Sophomore Johan Detter (Malmoe, Sweden) tied the score at 4-4 with a 3-0 win of his own. In the winner-take-all final game at the No. 4 spot, Binnie responded to the pressure with a 3-1 win, giving the Bantams the dramatic triumph. Binnie fought to consecutive 11-9 wins to start the game before Dodd answered with an 11-9 win of his own. Binnie prevented Dodd from gaining momentum and forcing a fifth game, by sealing the win for the Bantams, with an 11-7 win in the fourth set to seal the win.
"This team is just a big family – nine hearts beat as one," head coach Paul Assaiante said after the game. "Those guys never gave in. It was the most courageous group performance I've ever been a part of."
Yale started the day with a 2-0 lead behind a 3-0 win from senior Christopher Plimpton (Greenwich, Conn.) and a 3-1 win from sophomore Kenneth Chan (Singapore) in the No. 9 and No. 3 spots. Trinity answered with a win in the No. 6 spot from junior Antonio Diaz (Mexico City, Mexico) to cut the lead to 2-1, but Yale would take two more wins in the second round of games to gain a 4-2 lead over the defending champions, forcing the Bantams to win the final three matches. Trinity defeated Yale 6-3 last season in the National Championship Final, and edged Princeton 5-4 in the final two years ago.
Match Results - Trinity v. Yale
1. T- Vikram Malholtra d. Hywel Robinson 11-7, 11-8, 11-2
2. T- Parth Sharma d. Naishadh Lalwani 11-7, 10-12, 11-6, 11-2
3. Y- Kenneth Chan d. Andres Vargas, 8-11, 11-9, 11-4, 11-6
4. T- Chris Binnie d. Richard Dodd 11-9, 11-9, 9-11, 11-7
5. Y- John Roberts d. Randy Lim 11-9, 10-12, 11-5, 9-11, 11-9
6. T- Antonio Diaz d. John Fulham 11-9, 11-5, 13-11
7. T - Johan Detter d. Ryan Dowd 11-3
8. Y – Robert Berner d. Juan Flores, 12-10, 8-11, 11-9, 11-6
9. Y – Christopher Plimpton d. Daniel Echavarria 11-8, 11-9, 12-10
Trinity 5, Yale 4