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Harvard: 2011 – 2012 Women’s College Squash Season Preview

By Anne Bello | Published October 13, 2011, 7:00 AM ET | Updated October 7, 2011, 5:38 PM ET

Cambridge, MA — Harvard has been here before. In 2009, two 4-5 losses to Princeton kept the Ivy League and national titles out of the Crimson’s grasp. Last year it was the same story but a different opponent, with Yale winning both the Ivy League and national championships by one-match margins.

If history is anything to go by, other teams should be taking notice. Harvard bounced back from the 2009 season by bringing in a deep first-year class headlined by a standout junior champion (Laura Gemmell), going undefeated, and rolling to the titles that had eluded them the year before.

And Harvard has assembled another talented first-year class, this time headlined by 2010 World Junior champion Amanda Sobhy. Two of Sobhy’s teammates from this year’s World Junior Championships, Haley Mendez and Julianne Chu, will be joining the Crimson, along with another accomplished junior, Megan Murray. Harvard has lost four players from last season’s top 9, but the returners include a slew of All-Americans plus Gemmell, the two-time Ivy League Player of the Year and 2009 national individual champion. The team also includes the first-ever women’s intercollegiate doubles champions, 2010 winners Cece Cortes and Sarah Mumanachit.

The team also has two new assistant coaches: former Trinity assistant coach Reg Schönborn and Luke Hammond, who comes to Harvard from SquashBusters.

2010-2011 SEASON RECAP

Season Record: 11-2

Final Ranking: 2

Team Championships: 2nd in Howe Cup (A Division); Doubles Champions (Cece Cortes and Sarah Mumanachit)

2011-2012 SEASON PREVIEW

Program Status: Varsity

Head Coach: Mike Way

Returning Players from Team Championships: (1) Laura Gemmell (Ivy League Player of the Year, All-Ivy League Team, First Team All-American, Academic All-Ivy League); (2) Nirasha Guruge (First Team All-American); (5) Natasha Kingshott (Second Team All-American); (6) Cece Cortes (Second Team All-American); (7) Sarah Mumanachit; (10) Vidya Rajan; (11) Eliza Calihan; Emily Park; Natasha Anzik; Georgina Brinkley; Leila Shayegan

Graduated/Non-returning players from 2010-2011 Team: (3) Alisha Mashruwala; (4) June Tiong; (8) Bethan Williams; (9) Ali Zindman

Additions to the 2011-2012 roster:

  • Expected to play in the top 3: Amanda Sobhy and Haley Mendez
  • Expected to play in the middle 3: Julianne Chu
  • Expected to play in the bottom 3: Megan Murray

Captains: Cece Cortes and Nirasha Guruge

Team Goals: To win both the Ivy League title and the National Championship

Key Matches: Yale, Princeton, Penn, and Trinity

To read other team previews, please visit the 2011-2012 College Squash Season Previews page.