Even the greatest heroes have Achilles heels. For Superman, it was kryptonite . For the United States in the 2006 and 2010 World Cups, it was Ghana. For Penn women’s squash this season, it was Trinity.
Going into Sunday, the Red and Blue’s only two losses of the 2014-2015 season came at the hands of the Bantams.
In January, the No. 2 Quakers narrowly lost to then-No. 1 Trinity, with the fate of the match coming down to the final set of the final individual matchup.
However, after finishing Ivy League competition 7-0 and claiming the title for only the third time in school history, the team had high hopes for the College Squash Association National Team Championships in Boston this weekend.
While facing Trinity again in the Howe Cup semifinal on Saturday, the Red and Blue were unable to reverse their fortunes, falling 5-4 in heartbreaking fashion that was strangely reminiscent of their previous loss to the Bantams.
Sophomore Anaka Alankamony, freshman Marie Stephan and freshman Melissa Alves notched wins for Penn in the two, three and four positions on the ladder while junior Haidi Lala picked up a victory in the sixth spot.
With the overall match score tied at 4-4, the fate of the Quakers — and a place in the national championship final in the balance — came down to junior Camille Lanier in the fifth rung on the ladder, who fell 11-6.
The tough loss sent the Quakers to the third-place game in which they faced No. 4 Princeton, a talented team that had pushed No. 1 Harvard to the brink of defeat in the previous round.
After beating Princeton 6-3 earlier in the season, the Red and Blue were unable to match their previous performance and fell to the Tigers 5-4 in the third place match.
The defeat marks the close of Penn’s team season. The CSA Individual Championships will take place Feb. 27- March 1 at Princeton.
Despite the tough loss to Trinity, the team knows a weakness does not define a true champion.
Just as Superman overcame kryptonite and the U.S. men’s national soccer team finally beat Ghana in the group round in 2014, Penn women’s squash will learn from the their losses and be more ready than ever to take down Trinity next season.
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