Trinity Men's Squash Takes Two Titles In 2011-12
Hartford, Conn. – The Trinity College men's squash team, coached by Paul Assaiante (18th Season), finished the 2011-12 season with an 18-2 record, captured its sixth consecutive New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Championship title, and tied for the College Squash Association (CSA) Dual Match title with Princeton to extend its streak of earning at least a share of the Association Trophy to 15 years in a row. The Bantams saw the longest known winning streak in the history of intercollegiate varsity sports end at 252 victories in a row with a 5-4 loss at Yale in mid-January, but rallied to gain their 16th straight appearance in the CSA National Finals before suffering a 5-4 defeat on the road at Princeton to end the year. The Bantams finished the year ranked No. 2 in the CSA National Rankings.
An 8-0 start brought the historic winning streak to 252 matches, but the record came to an end with Trinity's heartwrenching loss to the-No. 2-ranked Bulldogs on January 18 in New Haven. In a 4:30 marathon, sophomore Matthew Mackin (Greenwich, Conn.) earned a 3-2 triumph to give the Bantams a 4-3 lead before Yale took the final two points and handed Trinity its first loss since the 1997-98 CSA Finals. The Bantams rebounded to win, 7-2, against both then-No. 5-ranked Harvard and then-No. 4-ranked Rochester en route to a 10-game winning streak that also included a 7-2 triumph against then-No. 3-ranked Princeton, a 9-0 win over Williams in the NESCAC Finals, and a 6-3 victory over Harvard in the CSA Semifinals. In the crushing loss at Princeton, senior co-captain Antonio Diaz-Gonzalez (Mexico City, Mexico), junior Johan Detter (Malmoe, Sweden), Mackin, and first-year Moustafa Hamada (Alexandria, Egypt) gave the Bantams a 4-2 lead that did not hold up. Finishing out the season, first-year Vrishab Kotian (Mumbia, India) won six matches over three days, including a 3-1 victory over Mackin in the semifinals, to capture the Molloy Division Title in the CSA National Singles Championships. Diaz-Gonzalez and fellow senior co-captain Vikram Malhotra (Mumbai, India) reached the Pool Trophy Quarterfinals and Semifinals, respectively.
Diaz-Gonzalez, Malhotra, and first-year Miled Zarazua (Mexico City, Mexico) were each selected to the CSA All-American First Team, while Detter graced the CSA All-American Honorable Mention. Malhotra was also one of six nominees for the Skillman Award given annually to the senior men's squash player who demonstrates outstanding sportsmanship during his collegiate career, and was honored as the NESCAC Player of the Year. All three First-Team All-Americans were named to the All-NESCAC First Team, while Detter and Kotian joined junior Reinhold Hergeth (Bleomfontein, South Africa) on the All-NESCAC Second Team. Diaz-Gonzalez also represented Trinity on the NESCAC All-Sportsmanship Team for the second time in three winters. Diaz-Gonzalez was presented with the team's Karl Kurth MVP Award, and Mackin, who did not lose a dual match all year and finished with a College-record 22 wins against just one loss overall, was given the John A. Mason Most Improved Player Award. Malhotra received the Montano Award for exemplary leadership, while Zarazua was presented with the James Belfiore Award for having overcome adversity and inspiring his teammates, and junior Juan Diego Lopez (Bogota, Colombia), who posted the team's best record at 10-0, collected the Burbank Award for tremendous effort and hard work. Both Detter and Lopez were selected as CSA National Scholar athletes, while the pair joined senior Jay Kramer (Bryn Mawr, Pa.) and sophomore Sam Livingston (Nahant, Mass.) on the NESCAC Winter All-Academic Team.
Kramer, Malhotra, and Diaz-Gonzalez can be proud of the legacy they have left over the last four seasons, having combined to lead the Bantams to three national titles and a 79-2 team record. Diaz-Gonzalez, a 2009-10 First Team All-American, a four-time All-NESCAC member, and the 2008-09 NESCAC Rookie of the Year, closes his career with an individual record of 67-12 to rank fourth in school history for career wins. Malhotra, a three-time All-NESCAC honoree and a four-year member of the All-American First Team, owns a career individual record of 62-11 that leaves him eighth at the College in all-time career wins.