While most students take the upcoming winter break to recover from finals and spend time with friends and family, Penn squash will be taking no days off as they continue to prepare for the tough Ivy slate ahead.
The Quakers will be thrust into new environments and pitted against tough competition on their road to the Ivy League opener at the Ringe Squash Courts, including a trip across the pond.
“The boys are looking forward to the England trip,” assistant coach Gilly Lane said. “This is a good opportunity for the boys to refocus and get ready for the second half of the season.”
The men’s squad will be traveling to London as part of an international training trip. Along with plenty of practice time, there will be a few squads competing with the Red and Blue.
After a heartbreaking 5-4 loss to Franklin & Marshall, Penn finds themselves on the outside looking in on the Potter Cup picture. The race for the eighth and final spot in the Potter Cup has become a logjam of teams with the Quakers sitting near the front of the pack.
“Everyone from 16 and up has a shot at the top eight,” Lane said. “Hopefully we can come out on top in the end.”
Last year’s the men’s team travelled to San Diego for winter break and returned firing on all cylinders en route to their eighth place finish.
“San Diego was a good jumping off point for us last year,” Lane said. “We were able to come out strong and upset Dartmouth in our first match after break.”
While the men’s team has to rebound from a tough loss before the break, the women will look to continue their hot streak of three straight 9-0 victories.
The women will be staying in the country, but they won’t be within the friendly confines of Ringe. The Red and Blue women be traveling to Palo Alto, Calif. to take on Stanford and George Washington in their first action since a November 23rd trip to Maine.
“The women have gone back to training really hard,” Lane said. “They have two tough matches against teams that are always getting better and better.”
The women are definite favorites for their matches, but they can’t get too comfortable. Harvard, Dartmouth and Trinity all await the Quakers in the week following their matches in Palo Alto.
Penn will have to come out strong after the long layover if they want to prove that it belongs at the upper echelon of college squash.
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