STAMFORD, Conn. -- Ahmed Abdel Khalek defeated Rochester's Ryosei Kobayashi 3-1 (11-5, 6-11, 15-13, 13-11) on Sunday to successfully defend his College Squash Association national championship.
The epic four-game match featured multiple injury timeouts and a host of extended rallies as the two finalists went toe-to-toe on court five at Chelsea Piers.
Abdel Khalek '16 (Cairo, Egypt) finishes his career at Bates on a 66-match winning streak. He lost only twice in his four years playing for the Bobcats.
The four-time NESCAC player of the year and now two-time national champion showed off his mastery of the basic game of squash again on Sunday against the upset minded Kobayashi.
"I owe this win to my dad," Abdel Khalek said. "He asked me to do it for him, and if you want to win, you have to find someone precious to you to play for, and I did it for him."
After Abdel Khalek dispatched Kobayashi 11-5 in the first game, the Rochester star came back to even the match with an 11-6 win in game two. That set up an epic third game that featured Abdel Khalek cutting up his knee on the court and Kobayashi jamming a finger after a collision with Abdel Khalek.
The injury timeouts added to the drama of a 15-13 win for Abdel Khalek.
Then with Abdel Khalek up 12-11 in the fourth game, Kobayashi hit the tin on a shot and the Bates senior clinched his second consecutive national title.
When asked if that was the best squash he's seen at the collegiate level, head coach Patrick Cosquer said: "Absolutely. That was one of the best back-and-forth matches I have ever seen. The final score doesn't indicate how close that match was, it had a little bit of everything."