Beaver, El Halaby To Be Inducted To College Hall of Fame At CSA Individuals
CSA INDIVIDUAL DRAWS
While current Tigers will be chasing either national championships or All-America honors, two legends of Princeton Squash will be inducted into the College Squash Hall of Fame this weekend.
Julia Beaver '01 and Yasser El Halaby '06 will be the newest members of the College Squash Hall of Fame during the enshrinement ceremony this weekend at Chelsea Piers, site of the 2016 CSA Individual Championships.
You can find more on the Tigers competing this weekend following the bios on this weekend's Hall of Fame inductees.
Julia Beaver ’01 was one of the greatest women’s squash players to ever compete at Princeton — or anywhere else — and she will receive the ultimate honor this weekend when she is inducted into the College Squash Hall of Fame.
“It is very special to be inducted into the College Squash Hall of Fame,” Beaver said. “I am honored to be included in a group with such wonderful and accomplished squash players, including my Princeton coach Gail Ramsay. “I treasure the memories of my time at Princeton, particularly memories of the squash team. I keep in contact with a number of squash teammates and these friendships have continued to grow over the years. Competing in the squash team environment at Princeton gave me great experience that I draw on in my professional life as well.”
Beaver was one of the greatest women’s squash players in Ivy League history. She won three individual national championships (1999, 2000, 2001), and she led Princeton to two Howe Cup national team championships. The first woman in Ivy League Squash history earn Rookie of the Year and Player of the Year in the same season (1998), she was an All-America and All-Ivy League honoree every year of her Tiger career.
“Julia is arguably one of Princeton’s top players and leaders that have contributed to our 45-year program,” head coach Gail Ramsay said. “Julia’s contribution to Princeton and our squash program obviously included her outstanding play, but she was also one of the most competitive athletes I have coached. She had the ability to be tenacious and dominating on court, but she competed with respect, elegance and outstanding sportsmanship. She was humble in victory and gracious in defeat, which were few and far between. Win or lose, on or off the court, she led the Tigers with dignity and pride. She was and is a true champion in every way and I was lucky to have had the opportunity to work with her.”
Beaver was a champion both on and off the court; a CSA Scholar-Athlete and Academic All-Ivy League honoree, Beaver was the 2001 recipient of the Betty Richey Award, and she was the 2001 Princeton recipient of the Otto von Kienbusch Award, which goes to the top senior female athlete. She won the Constable Championship three times at Princeton.
For all her individual successes, her favorite memory with Tiger squash was, naturally, a team victory.
“My favorite match at Princeton was when our team won the National Championship in 1999,” she said. “We were underdogs having lost to Harvard earlier in the season, however we snuck out the win 5-4. It was incredibly special to be able to share that victory with the team.”
Prior to coming to Princeton, she won the Open and Closed National Junior Championships in every age level, and she played No. 1 for the U.S. Junior Women’s National Team in both 1995 and 1997. She played professional squash for one year with the U.S. Women’s Team following her Princeton graduation.
One decade ago, Yasser El Halaby '06 made college squash history. Of course, he had been making college squash history ever since he stepped foot on Princeton’s campus, but this was something that had never been done before — and hasn’t been done since.
The most decorated player in the history of college squash will be honored during the CSA individual championships when he is inducted into the College Squash Hall of Fame.
El Halaby, a 2006 graduate of Princeton, defeated Harvard’s Siddharth Suchde 9-2, 9-0, 9-6 in just 39 minutes to become the first collegiate male to win four straight CSA individual national championships. It was a fitting finale for El Halaby, who always seemed to rise to the moment in the biggest occasions.
He went 54-6 in his career, including 20-0 in the individual postseason tournament. For his 20 wins in the individual championships, his game record was 60-4. He won all four of his championship matches 3-0, and he won eight of his 12 games in the national finals by either 9-0, 9-1 or 9-2.
“I couldn’t be more thrilled for Yasser, who is incredibly deserving of this honor, and a great credit to Princeton squash,” said head coach Sean Wilkinson, the Robert W. Callahan ‘77 Head Coach of Men’s Squash. “I was just beginning my collegiate career when he was winning his final two national championships, and he brought our sport to a different level with both his talent and sportsmanship.”
Individual success wasn’t all that El Halaby achieved at Princeton, though. He helped Princeton win both the 2003 and 2006 Ivy League championships; the former provided one of the most exciting performances of El Halaby’s career. He rallied from 2-0 down and four match balls in game three to top Julian Illingworth 3-2, a victory that helped the Tigers to a 5-4 road win.
El Halaby led the Tigers to two Potter Cup championship matches; though he won at No. 1 both times, Princeton fell to Trinity both times, including a 5-4 loss his senior year.
He made home squash matches an event at the Jadwin Courts. One of the most popular student-athletes during his four years at Princeton, he brought tremendous excitement to Princeton home matches. He was also universally respected for his sportsmanship by both opposing players and coaches.
A former British Junior Open champion, El Halaby would play professionally following his Princeton career, and he ascended to as high as No. 40 in the world rankings.
Two Tigers, sophomore Olivia Fiechter and junior Maria Elena Ubina, will try to be the first Princeton woman to win a national championship since Beaver in 2001. Fiechter reached the semifinal last year, and she will enter this weekend as the fourth seed. Her run will begin with Alyssa Mehta, the No. 3 player at Harvard.
Ubina, a two-time quarterfinalist — she lost to Fiechter in a 3-2 thriller last year — will be in the 7/10 first-round match and will face Laila Samy, the No. 1 player at Wesleyan.
Unlike past years, the top draw will be limited to the Top 16 players, and then there will be four 16-player draws to determine the final four All-Americans. These draws take players ranked 17th through 80th and distribute them equally through the four draws.
Rachel Leizman, Samantha Chai and Isabel Hirshberg will all be in the 'B' tournament, while Alexandra Toth and Kira Keating will be in the 'D' tournament.
On the men's side, Cody Cortes will compete in the 'B' draw, Abhimanyu Shah will be in the 'C' draw and