After what the men's squash team endured last Friday, tonight's match should be a breeze.
The Quakers (5-4) saw their five-match winning streak snapped last Friday to No. 1 Trinity. Tonight at Ringe, in a match that was originally postponed due to inclement weather, the Red and Blue's opponent is the considerably less fearsome Franklin and Marshall.
"I think we're going to do stellar," Penn's Parker Justi said. "To be honest, I don't even know if we'll have to play our full lineup, because we're that much better than them . I think that each individual match will not be so close."
So despite the 9-0 loss to the Bantams last week, the team is demonstrating its resiliency.
Coach Craig Thorpe-Clark insisted that he saw a silver lining in his team's being shut out by the program that owns the longest winning streak in any collegiate sport.
"We played the best team in college sports history," he said. "We played them pretty hard. We had some personal goals to work for, and the guys did the best they could."
Justi was also upbeat in the face of defeat.
"I think you learn more from a loss than you do from a win," he said. "I think [the loss] has really helped us redouble our efforts in training."
While Thorpe-Clark gushed about the Bantams' dynasty, he was considerably more measured than Justi in his appraisal of the Diplomats (9-6).
"They are behind us in the rankings," he said. "So I feel we're likely favored. We'll go out and give it our best shot."
When the Quakers take the court tonight, they will have to contend with the Diplomats' freshman standout Benjamin Lurio. The Philadelphia native has compiled an impressive 11-4 record in his first year of collegiate squash.
And while the Quakers don't seem fazed by Lurio or any of his teammates, co-captain Lee Rosen cautioned against taking F&M; too lightly.
"We're pretty confident - but we can't be over-confident," he said. "I think we just need to play the right way."
For the Quakers to take care of business tonight, they will need steady, veteran leadership.
Justi is hoping two of his teammates can rise to the occasion and help the team rebound from its worst defeat of the season.
"I think that we'll be looking for Spencer Kurn to get healthy and retake the leadership role he's always had on the team," Justi said. "And I think we always look toward our captain, Ryan Rayfield, who has really been commanding a great effort in practice every day and has really gotten us to buckle down in this last stretch of matches."
Thorpe-Clark hopes the Quakers don't deviate too far from their routine tonight. The coach is looking for consistency out of his players and said that fans won't see him implementing any new strategies against the Diplomats.
"We'll approach it like any other match," he said. "We want our team to be as successful as possible, play hard, treat [Franklin and Marshall] with respect, and do the best we can."Comments powered by Disqus
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