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Senior Megan Fuller, left, picked up the decisive win against both Yale and Brown last weekendto propel the Quakers to a pair of one-match victories. (Jacques-Jean Tiziou/The Daily Pennsylvanian)

It may not be as pretty as the dominant 9-0 victories of last season, but the Penn women's squash team is still getting it done. With two 5-4 wins over Yale and Brown this past weekend, the Quakers have still not lost a match since February 21, 1999. They now stand at 3-0 on the season and remain undefeated in Ivy League play. The matches against the Elis and Bears played out in similar fashion. On Saturday and Sunday, the top four Penn players each won in straight sets, with the clinching win coming from the No.5 position, held by Penn senior Megan Fuller. "The crucial point was winning that fifth match, so it was basically left up to Megan," co-captain Rina Borromeo said. "Her competitors had a lot of experience but she pulled it off. She, so to speak, saved the day." At the No. 1 position, Penn sophomore Runa Reta continued her dominant play by shutting out both of her opponents. In three matches thus far, the opposition has not been able to score a single point against this sophomore phenom. "I wasn't really aiming to not allow any points," Reta said. "I go in wanting to win the match as quickly as possible so I can go support my teammates." With their deep lineups, both the Elis and the Bears presented a similar challenge to the Quakers -- one that Penn had seen before in its first match of the season against Cornell. "In all three matches, we felt we were significantly stronger at [the] one, two, three and four [positions] and we're incredibly lucky to have that as a team," Penn coach Demer Holleran said. "We just had to find one more win." With Yale and Brown ranked fifth and tenth, respectively, in the preseason polls, the second-ranked Quakers were relatively confident heading into each match as the favorite. But before its match against the Bears on Sunday, Penn was surprised to hear the results of the Princeton-Brown match just a day earlier. "On Saturday night we found out that Brown defeated [third-ranked] Princeton, which means they are a deep team," Penn co-captain Lauren Patrizio said. "It triggered in our minds that we really can't take anyone for granted." That seems to be the recurring theme during the Red and Blue's first semester of competition -- gone are the days of expected victory. The Quakers -- with a less experienced roster that is missing two veterans from last season's squad -- have had to readjust to emphasize the importance of a full team effort. "Last year at our full strength, we just dominated those teams -- there wasn't a worry that we wouldn't win," Holleran said. "It's been much more exciting this year. We put a lot more effort into our wins." Despite the fact that the Quakers' victories have been by the slimmest of margins this season, they are still winning. And perhaps their nailbiting victories will be more beneficial to the Red and Blue in the end. "It is my hope that we escape with wins in these close matches," Holleran said. "In the long run, the players will grow stronger because of that." With three Ivy League wins under their belt, the Quakers will enter the second half of their season at the top of the Ancient Eight, when they will begin to face higher-caliber teams. "This is a preparation for harder matches," Borromeo said. "We can't sit back and expect to win." However, by accomplishing their first semester goal of defeating their Ivy rivals, the Quakers are gaining the confidence and momentum they will need to be successful in the defense of their national championship.

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