Often in team sports, the best players don’t secure the best results. Penn’s squash teams demonstrated that at their individual championships this break.
March 2-4, Penn sent two men and six women to compete at the College Squash Association individual tournaments.
One might have expected Rachael Goh, Pia Trikha and Nabilla Ariffin would represent Penn’s best hopes at a solid showing at individuals for the women, since the trio occupied the top three slots of Penn’s roster for most of the season. While all three won their opening round matches, they were each stopped in the next round.
Meanwhile, junior Stephanie Vogel, who has moved around the Quakers’ ladder but has predominantly played in the middle of it, advanced to quarterfinals of her bracket, where she lost to the eventual champion, Yale’s Shihui Mao.
Additionally, while junior Yarden Odinak lost in the opening round, she rebounded to win four straight matches to win the consolation bracket.
Courteney Jones fell in the first round of consolation.
In the men’s draw, senior co-captain Thomas Mattsson, Penn’s year-long No. 1, fell in the first round, despite winning the first two games in a best-of-five match. He did go on to reach the semifinal round in his consolation bracket. Mattsson is still hoping to be named an All-American.
“I don’t know if he’s going to be an All-American,” coach Jack Wyant said. “That’s going to be decided in the next couple of weeks.”
Mattsson’s teammate, Dan Greenberg, who represented Penn at No. 2 and 3 most of the season, advanced to the semifinal round of the main draw. On the way, he defeated Andrew McGuinness, Penn co-captain Trevor McGuinness’ younger brother from Navy.
Wyant was pleased both by the results at individuals and by his teams’ overall seasons. The women’s team maintained its preseason No. 5 ranking, while the men won the Hoehn Cup to match their No. 9 preseason ranking.
“The end results are a product of togetherness and of hard work,” Wyant said. “I feel like both teams did a good job on those fronts.”
The Quakers hope to continue to build on those aspects, and they won’t have to completely start anew. Six of the seven players who qualified for individuals — Mattsson being the exception — return to the Ringe Courts next year.
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