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Penn women's squash's Runa Reta turned in a pair of three-set wins in last weekend's matches. (Will Burhop/The Daily Pennsylvanian)

The Penn women's squash team is about to fall on some hard times. And it's not because of unbeatable opponents or injury. It's graduation. With some of the largest crowds of the season supporting them this weekend, the Penn seniors -- Helen Bamber, Lauren Patrizio, Rina Borromeo and Megan Fuller -- said farewell in their last regular-season home matches. While the Quakers (5-2, 5-1 Ivy League) split the weekend by losing to Harvard, 5-4, on Saturday and beating Dartmouth, 7-2, on Sunday, the seniors played in typical dominating style, winning a combined seven out of eight matches. "They're probably the strongest class we've ever had," Penn coach Demer Holleran said. "They're the middle of our line-up and, between them, they have so many wins and they're extremely committed as a group. As a class, they'll be graduating with the best record ever." And they will certainly be remembered for a long time, especially after helping to bring home the first national championship trophy in Penn squash history. "They are just a strong, strong class," sophomore Runa Reta said. "From what I personally know and everything that I have heard about them, they have put forth amazing efforts." With their effort on Sunday, the Red and Blue secured another place in history. "We finished second place in the Ivy League, which is our second-best performance ever," Holleran said. "Until last year, we had never finished higher than third." Saturday saw the Quakers playing competitive squash in an extremely close match that was not decided until the end. "Of course we're really disappointed because we really wanted to win," Bamber said. "We felt confident heading in, our match preparation was good. It was just so close and it could have gone either way. Today it went theirs." Even the winning Crimson (4-1, 3-0) acknowledged that the level of competitive play of both opponents was too close to declare the definitively better team. "Both teams are really close in terms of talent and skill," Crimson sophomore Ella Witcher said. "It's really just a matter of who plays their best squash that day." With the decisive victory over the Big Green (6-7, 1-5) on Sunday, the Quakers found a way to rebound and pull out a needed win to conclude the regular season. "It shows strength of our team because we can come back after a loss," Reta said. "Winning gave us confidence and more match play, and forced us to refocus and look towards the future and not dwell on the past." In terms of the upcoming Howe Cup beginning this Friday at Yale, the Quakers are hoping to use last weekend for strategy when they face the Crimson once again. "I think what we saw will help us get ready mentally and physically when we face them next weekend," co-captain Patrizio said. Until then, the Quakers will be resting up and tweaking their skills to prepare for the defense of their title and dish out some payback for their losses to the Crimson, as well as Trinity on January 14. "Both of those matches were really close and we're definitely looking for a little revenge," Reta said. And the seniors will be preparing to lead the Quakers into the tournament and hopefully end their team play on one last sweet note. "I'm really looking forward to the weekend," Fuller said. "A lot of fans are going to travel with us. We're just looking for our last hurrah and hopefully we can go out with some wins."

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