Abdel Khalek reaches national semis, falls to top seed
HARTFORD, Conn. — Bates first-year sensation Ahmed Abdel Khalek defeated fourth-seeded Ramit Tandon of Columbia University in the national quarterfinals on Saturday, before his run in the Pool Division of the CSA Individual Nationals finally came to a close against the tournament’s top seed, Todd Harrity of Princeton.
Abdel Khalek (Cairo, Egypt), the fifth seed, traded wins with Tandon in the opening two games of their quarterfinal on Saturday afternoon, before Abdel Khalek took control and finished off the 2012 First Team All-American in an impressive 11-8, 10-12, 11-6, 11-5 victory.
The win set up a semifinal showdown Saturday evening against Harrity, whose lone loss of the season entering the match, as was the case with Abdel Khalek, came against 2012 individual champion Ali Farag of Harvard, though Harrity earned the top seed by defeating Harag in their rematch at CSA Team Nationals last week. Princeton’s No. 1 player defeated Abdel Khalek in three games, 11-7, 11-7, 11-4, ending the NESCAC Player of the Year’s 19-match winning streak. Abdel Khalek finishes his brilliant rookie season with a 23-2 individual record and will be named a CSA First Team All-American and become the program’s second-ever All-American, joining four-time honoree Ricky Weisskopf ’08.
Harrity moved on to Sunday’s final, where he will play the winner of Saturday’s other semifinal between second-seeded Farag and third-seeded Amr Khaled Khalifa of St. Lawrence. (Update: Khalifa defeated Harrity for the CSA Individual Championship.)
Abdel Khalek’s two teammates playing in the Molloy Division (B Draw), senior captain Walter Cabot (Dover, Mass.) and junior Kristian Muldoon (Paget, Bermuda), each competed on Saturday as well after going 1-1 in Friday’s action. Both Bobcats fell by 3-1 decisions in the First Round Consolation Bracket quarterfinals. Cabot faced Trinity’s Matthew Mackin and fell by an 11-9, 10-12, 11-5, 11-6 score, while Muldoon won a marathon opening game before losing 14-16, 11-2, 11-3, 11-8 to Princeton’s Michael LeBlanc.
Abdel Khalek made it two rounds farther at CSA Individual Nationals than any other player in program history — Weisskopf, who was named Second Team All-American in his first three seasons at Bates and First Team All-American as a senior in 2008, never made it past the Round of 16.
Abdel Khalek advanced through two rounds of Pool Division play Friday at the CSA Individual Championships, assuring himself of becoming the second All-American player in Bates men’s squash history.
He took on Nigel Koh in the first round and won 11-4, 11-8, 11-4. In the Round of 16 on Friday evening, he met 2012 First Team All-American Guilherme de Melo of Franklin & Marshall for the second time this season, and defeated de Melo again, 11-3, 11-4, 11-8.
Bates saw its other top two players at CSA Individual Nationals each go 1-1 on Friday. In Molloy Division (B Draw) play, Cabot faced Binura Jayasuriya of Drexel in the opening round and fell 11-9, 11-8, 11-6. Muldoon drew Kyle Ogilvy of St. Lawrence and pushed him to extra points in the opening game before falling 13-11, 11-6, 11-6.
Cabot and Muldoon each moved on to the First Round Consolation Bracket for Friday afternoon matches. Cabot won in four games over Martin Bawden of Hamilton, 11-8, 11-6, 11-13, 11-3, and Muldoon also advanced, rolling past Andrew McComas of Haverford, 11-6, 11-2, 11-3.