STAMFORD, Conn. – MIT squash freshman Justin Restivo (Phoenixville, Pa.) and senior Marina Crowe (Wayland, Mass.) finished the 2015-16 campaign for the Engineers at the College Squash Association (CSA) Individual National Championships held at Chelsea Piers in Stamford, Connecticut over the weekend. Restivo was ranked No. 57 by the CSA on the men's side and Crowe was slotted as No. 71 in the women's rankings.
Restivo, who competed as the No. 11 seed in the Molloy Division (A) bracket, opened up the tournament on Friday afternoon against 12th seeded senior Pedro Veiga De Almeida (Belo Horizonte, Brazil) from Franklin and Marshall College. Almeida ultimately took the match 13-11, 7-11, 11-6, 7-11, 11-9 in a back-and-forth matchup, but Restivo stood tough, taking the opening set to extra points and winning sets two and four, before falling 11-9 in the fifth.
Crowe began play in the women's Holleran Division (B) bracket also on Friday afternoon against senior Sarah Bell (Boston, Mass.) of Stanford University. Crowe, the No. 10 seed in the bracket, took the second set by an 11-9 margin, but Bell, who is No. 9 in the bracket and No. 26 in the nation, overpowered the Engineers' senior winning by a final score of 11-4, 9-11, 11-8, 11-5.
The second day of competition brought consolation bracket quarterfinals for both Restivo and Crowe. Crowe fell in her match to senior Rachel Newman (Merion, Pa.) from Hamilton College. Despite taking the first set, 11-6, Hamilton bounced back to win the match in three straight by score of 11-8, 11-7, 11-9. Restivo moved onto the consolation bracket semifinals with a win over senior Ness Billimoria (Mumbai, India) from St. Lawrence University.
Restivo and Billimoria traded sets one through four (11-6, 12-10, 11-7, 11-7), before who was moving on to the next round was decided in a winner take all fifth. Restivo battled back-and-forth with Billimoria and came out on top 11-9 to move onto the consolation semifinals.
The freshman ran into strong competition of junior Wyatt French (Farmington, Conn.) of Middlebury College in the consolation bracket semifinals as Restivo fell 11-8, 11-7, 12-10 in straight sets, ending his tournament.
Restivo finished the CSA Individual National Championship with an overall record of 1-2, while Crowe went 0-2 in her pair of matches at the National Championship event. Despite the setback, this year marked the first season since 2003-04 that MIT had two student-athletes represented at the CSA Individual National Championship.
2016 was an outstanding season for the Engineers as they set a program record mark of 18-9. Restivo finished his rookie campaign with an overall record of 21-8 (20-6 at No. 1 ladder position), while Crowe ended her career as a member of the MIT squash team with a record of 11-18 (2-1 at No. 6, 2-4 at No. 7, 6-7 at No. 8 and 1-4 at No. 9).