Princeton, NJ -– Trinity College won the 2009 Association Trophy, which is awarded to the team with the best dual-match record in men’s college squash.
Trinity finished the regular season with a perfect 16-0 record, completing their eleventh undefeated season in a row. Coached by Paul Assaiante, the Bantams breezed through most of the season, winning twelve of their matches by a score of 9-0. Three of those 9-0 matches came at the NESCAC tournament, which Trinity won for the third consecutive year.
The Bantams’ biggest test came in their final dual match of the season, against Princeton. The Tigers, playing on their home courts, came into the match with a perfect 11-0 record of their own to defend. When the teams had last faced each other, in the finals of the 2007 – 2008 National Team Championships, Trinity walked away with an 8-1 win. The Tigers proved to be much stiffer competition this time around. After the Tigers went up 2-0, sophomore Chris Binnie won in five games at number 9 to give the Bantams their first match. The contest remained close until another Bantam sophomore, Andres Vargas, won a close 3-2 match at number 7 to clinch the victory for Trinity, keeping their 199-match winning streak alive.
Trinity and Princeton met again in the 2008 – 2009 National Team Championships final. In another close contest, the team title came down to the number 1 match, where Bantam junior Baset Chaudhry faced Tiger senior tri-captain Mauricio Sanchez. Chaudry battled back from a 5-0 deficit in the fifth game to take the match, securing a 5-4 victory that gave the Bantams their eleventh consecutive national title. Trinity’s winning streak, which now stands at 202 victories, is the longest active streak in US varsity intercollegiate sports.
Nineteen of the twenty-two players on Trinity’s roster competed in scoring matches (that is, at positions 1 through 9) over the course of the season, making winning the Association Trophy truly a team honor. In recognition of the team’s accomplishments, the United States Senate passed a resolution commending the Bantams on their eleventh national title. Connecticut Governor M. Jodi Rell also honored the team, who met with her at the Capitol in Hartford, and March 12, 2009, was designated as Trinity College Men’s Squash National Championship Day in Connecticut. The Boston Red Sox also recognized the team at Fenway Park in early May.