Penn pushes the pace
Well-rested Quakers frustrate Williams with quick style of play
January 17, 2011, 12:03 am · Updated January 16, 2011, 12:00 am·
After Williams junior Courtney Bogel dropped a point to Penn sophomore Rachael Goh during Sunday’s squash match, Bogel had some choice words for the official, arguing that there had been interference.
Ultimately, the pleading must have worked because the officials awarded Bogel the call.
However, it was one of the few victories the Williams women’s squash team eeked out against the Quakers, who defeated the Ephs, 8-1.
Despite a 45-day layoff since their last match, the Red and Blue (5-1, 2-1 Ivy) showed few ill effects against Williams (6-6), with their top eight players shutting out the competition.
“They’ve been competing hard in practice,” coach Jack Wyant said, regarding how his team was able to stay sharp. “I wasn’t too worried about it.”
Going into Sunday’s matchup, Williams was ranked No. 9 in the country. But each Penn player forced a rapid pace, driving the Ephs out of their comfort zones.
Quite tellingly, a Williams player could be heard complaining of the arena’s temperature after her loss. While it was hot inside Ringe Squash Courts, Penn’s pressure definitely made life even more uncomfortable for the Williams players.
“Our goal is to always play as fast as we can, getting on the ball and attacking it and volleying as much as possible,” Wyant said. “I think that we did a good job of that today.”
Penn’s four remaining undefeated players performed as their records would indicate. Sophomore Pia Trikha won, 11-2, 11-5, 11-1. Her classmate Yarden Odinak and senior captain Annie Madeira took their respective matches in similar fashion.
But most impressive of all the unbeatens was Goh, who played as the Quakers’ number one for the first time this season after beating fellow sophomore Nabilla Ariffin in practice.
Going up against the No. 38 player in the nation in Bogel, Goh knew she would have her hands full.
“I just tried to keep my shots tight and to the back,” Goh said.
After losing the first two sets 11-9, 11-6, Bogel’s frustration became visible.
The Quakers ride a three-game winning streak into next weekend’s match against a Trinity squad currently ranked No. 3 in the nation.
“Right now is our crunch time,” Wyant said. “This is our exam period.”