Courtesy of Cornell Athletics

Sr. Humza Khan during a match against Penn on January 13, 2023 at Belkin Squash Courts.

February 9, 2023

Men’s and Women’s Squash Beat Columbia on Senior Day

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Cornell men’s and women’s squash teams concluded its final home game of the regular season against Columbia on Saturday, Feb. 4. 

The No. 8 men’s squash team handedly defeated the Lions by a score of 8-1. Seniors Humza Khan and Nicholas Göth Errington earned victories in their final home match. Khan sweeped opponent Franklyn Smith by a scoreline of 11-4, 11-8, 11-7. Göth Errington went the distance in a five-game thriller, coming back from 2-0 down to defeat Ryan Chen of Columbia, 16-14 in the fifth game. 

Khan, who serves as co-captain, reflected on his time with the Red. 

“I feel like being at Cornell with COVID-19, I feel like my college period got cut short so it feels a lot shorter than I anticipated it to be. But being there with my teammates and my coaches…[and] definitely getting that big win was definitely something special,” said Khan. 

Men’s squash has steadily improved over the past few years, which can be a testament to Khan, the other seniors’ leadership and the team culture that was built by them. Before Khan and the other seniors arrived at Cornell, the men’s team was ranked No. 16. Currently, the team is ranked No. 8. 

“I think what we’ve done is that we’ve brought the team a lot closer, and I feel like the team culture is definitely more than what it was in my freshman year. The work that we put in, on and off the court with each other and I think with the coaches that we have, especially Coach Palmer, who is former world number one,” Khan said. “He has a lot of experience and I think he also got into a good groove with the Cornell squash program.” 

“Collaborating with him and the older guys on the team, we made adjustments and we saw how to make the best fit for everyone. So I think that made these little improvements over time, and I think that’s how you’ve seen the most improvement,” he added. 

The No. 5 women’s team, on the other hand, went the distance and defeated Columbia in a 5-4 nail-biter. Remarkably, on a day honoring the seniors, it was senior McKenna Stoltz who made all the difference with a hard-fought five game win over Aleeza Khan of Columbia to clinch the victory for the Red. Reigning national champion and senior Sivasangari Subramaniam, who is on a comeback journey after a serious car accident over the summer, also swept her opponent at the No. 1 position. 

Both teams will head to Philadelphia this weekend where they will face Drexel and Virginia. 

Now ranked No. 8, Cornell men’s squash has a good chance to make it to the “A” division, the top draw, of the National Team Championship, something that the Red has not achieved in recent years. 

“Last year, we fell short of that,” Khan said. “We were pretty ecstatic about [beating Columbia]. But I think these coming few days, we’ll get back on track and we’ll work hard because if we have a chance to beat UVA or Drexel our seeding to the national championship definitely moves up. So I think we’re going into this mindset where we don’t have much to lose, but we have a good amount to gain.”