Penn women's squash broken by breaks
Quakers drop four matches by 3-2 scores, dismissed by undefeated Princeton squad
January 30, 2013, 9:57 pm·
Ellen Frierson | DP
To the untrained eye, a 9-0 loss may seem like an ugly blemish on a squash team’s record.
But for the Penn women’s squash squad, 9-0 doesn’t even begin to tell the story.
The No. 3 Quakers (7-2, 1-2 Ivy) fought hard against top-ranked Princeton (6-0, 3-0), taking four matches to the five-game limit. But they dropped them all, putting up a goose egg on the scoreboard.
The Red and Blue dropped close matches up and down the ladder, with a pair of freshmen, a junior and a senior all falling after going the distance.
Perhaps the most painful loss of them all was the defeat that befell senior Yarden Odinak.
Against the Tigers’(7-0, 3-0) Lexi Saunders, the veteran playing at No. 6 was unable to hold on after staking herself to a quick two game lead, dropping the next three by scores of 11-6, 11-9 and 11-8 in a match that set an unhappy tone for the evening.
Though a 1-2 Ivy record may also seem subpar at first glance, Penn’s only defeats have come at the hands of the Tigers and then-No. 1 Harvard, arguably the two best teams in the country.
With the loss, the Red and Blue now know just how hard it is to make the leap from third in line to the top of the mountain.
“Princeton is the No. 1 team in the country and they definitely showed it today,” coach Jack Wyant said.
Although the Quakers were easily able to shove the Tigers aside in the friendly confines of the Ringe Squash Courts last year, 6-3, they were not able to conjure up 2012’s winning formula in a hostile environment at the Jadwin Squash Courts.
“I think us being on the road really helped Princeton”, Wyant said. “I think we did not do a good job adjusting to the surroundings, and that is something we need to do better when we head up to Brown.”
For Penn, there will be no rest for the weary, as three weekend matches on the road loom against No. 9 Brown, No. 7 Stanford and No. 5 Yale.
Although the Quakers were able to win two out of those three matches in 2012, they know better than to count on last season’s results as an indicator of future performance.
Wyant knows that in order to emerge from the road swing unscathed, his team must make some big adjustments in practice, noting that “[the team] must work on being proactive, volleying and attacking the good court.”
The loss also marked the end of a significant streak for one of the Quakers. Chloe Blacker, a jack-of-all trades junior that has competed at No. 6, No. 8, No. 9 and No. 10 this year, suffered her first loss since February 5, 2012, falling to Princeton’s Hallie Dewey, 3-1.
Although she has flown under the radar, Blacker has been a true stabilizing force at the bottom of Penn’s lineup.
Despite the loss, Blacker’s record over the past two years still stands at an impressive 18-3.
Wyant knows that Blacker won’t let the loss get her down.
“She’s a solid contributor and played well against Trinity,” Wyant said. “Hopefully she bounces back and starts another streak this weekend.”
The rest of the Red and Blue can only hope to join her in regaining their winning ways.