Three Women's Squash Players Advance to CSA Individual Quarterfinals

Laura Gemmell is looking for her second CSA individual championship in Amherst, Mass., this weekend (photo courtes Dale Walker).

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- Three members of the Harvard women's squash team advanced to the College Squash Association (CSA) Individual Championship quarterfinals in Amherst, Mass., today. Amanda Sobhy, Cece Cortes and Laura Gemmell each advanced with wins in the first two rounds of the tournament.

Sobhy, the tournament's No. 1 seed, easily advanced to the round of 16 with wins over Gwendoline Tilghman of Yale and Pia Trikha of Penn in straight games. The freshman downed Tilghman 11-3, 11-2, and 11-3 before beating Trikha 11-3, 11-3, 11-0. Sobhy will take on Penn's Elizabeth Eyre tomorrow at noon.

Cortes pulled out a pair of four-game matches to advance to the quarterfinals. The senior dropped her first game of the day, 11-3, to Alicia Rodriguez Acosta before taking the next three games, 11-9, 11-2, 11-7, to secure the match. Cortes then pulled off the biggest upset of the day, taking down No. 4-seed Catalina Pelaez of Trinity, 11-5, 7-11, 11-8, 11-3. Julie Cerullo of Princeton is Cortes' next opponent in a noon match tomorrow.

Gemmell, the 2010 individual tournament champion, came back from a 2-1 deficit to end Nessrine Ariffin's upset bid. Trinity's Ariffin won two of the first three games in extended points to back Gemmell into a corner, but the tournament's No. 3 seed pushed back with two 11-8 wins to take the match, 11-13, 11-7, 11-13, 11-8, 11-8. Gemmell is looking for her third straight finals appearance as the junior finished second in last year's tournament. Gemmell will challenge Pamela Chua of Stanford in tomorrow's quarterfinal at 12:45 p.m.

Cortes and Sobhy could meet in tomorrow's 5 p.m. semifinal, while Gemmell is slated to play in the 5:45 p.m. showdown if she wins in the quarterfinals. Gemmell could matchup against Millie Tomlinson of Yale in the semifinals, her opponent in last year's championship match.

The Crimson was 5-2 overall in first round matchups as Nirasha Guruge and Haley Mendez each advanced to the second match.

Guruge, a senior, beat Cornell's Jesse Pacheco, 9-11, 13-11, 11-3, 8-11, 11-8, before falling to Yale's Kimberley Hay, 11-9, 12-10, 11-4.

Mendez nearly provided the tournament's biggest surprise, when she forced defending champion and No. 2 seed Tomlinson into a fifth game. Harvard's freshman was outlasted in the deciding fifth game, as Tomlinson advanced, 9-11, 11-5, 11-3, 9-11, 11-6. Mendez beat Cronell's Jaime Laird, 11-5, 9-11, 11-6, 11-5, in her first match.