Superstition generally deems the number 13 unlucky. But this past Saturday, 13 was the magic number for the Penn women's squash team. With their 5-4 victory over visiting Cornell at the Ringe Squash Courts, the Quakers are now undefeated in 13 consecutive matches. Penn's streak dates back to the season opener last year. The Quakers would go on to win their first-ever national and Ivy League championships last season. "I'm very happy with the win," Penn senior Megan Fuller said. "They're a good team, and [although] they're relatively new, they're building quickly. They're fighters and they came out wanting to win." The Quakers dominated the top four matches in the ladder, as they won each in straight sets and gave up only 10 points combined. "They played really well and kept running until the very end, which was very impressive," Penn freshman Daphna Wegner said. The decisive win came from the eighth spot in the ladder, where freshman Quincy Riley also won in straight sets. Three of the four Quakers' losses were hard-fought, with two matches decided in five sets, and another match in four. "This is [Cornell's] strongest team ever-- they never gave up," Quakers senior co-captain Rina Borromeo said. "They were deeper, but the top of our team is stronger." The final score, however, may not have reflected the full potential of either team. The Big Red were missing their top player, and the Quakers were without veterans Helen Bamber and Christina Eynon. Bamber is studying abroad this semester, while Eynon is out with injury. Saturday's Quakers lineup, which featured five newcomers, is dramatically different from the national-championship-winning roster from a year ago. "Last year, everyone was older and knew what they had to do before, during and after matches," Borromeo said. "Now with the younger players, they still have to determine their role within the team and find out where they're most comfortable in matches." That does not, however, undermine the significance of the freshmen's contribution to the Quakers' season. "They will definitely have a positive impact, and all of them have a lot of potential. They bring a new energy to this team," Fuller said. "I think it was important for them to get experience. And any time we win, it's good for the whole team." And gaining match experience can only make the Quakers that much stronger. "[The match] should inspire them and make them work harder, especially since from here on in we're just going to face harder matches," Borromeo said. Above all, perhaps the most significant outcome of the match was that the Red and Blue proved that they remain a force in the collegiate squash world. Any team that wants a league, regular season or national title will first have to wrestle it away from the Quakers. "Other teams might think we're weaker than we are, but we're just getting stronger," Borromeo said. "I think that might cause them to let their guard down." The Quakers will hit the road after Thanksgiving to meet Yale and Brown. The Elis are ranked fifth and the Bears 10th in the preseason rankings, but the Quakers certainly aren't taking anything for granted. "We can't underestimate any of our opponents," Fuller said. "We're the reigning champions and everyone wants to beat us."Comments powered by Disqus
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