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Womens and Mens Squash vs. Franklin & Marshall Credit: Michelle Bigony

With all of his teammates and packed bleachers cheering him on, men’s squash senior captain Mark Froot closed out a tough game last night with a 3-2 win.

And for him, the match was personal.

“I lost to that kid [Gabriel de Melo] last year so I came in wanting to beat him,” Froot said. “I really wanted to win. It was a good match. [Franklin & Marshall] has been a tough matchup the last couple years. The goal was just to go out there and put up a really good score.”

That’s exactly what the Quakers did, as they recorded an impressive 8-1 win last night over the Diplomats.

The victory comes on the heels of a slow start. Penn (1-2, 0-1 Ivy) came into the match having lost a doubleheader to No. 9 Western Ontario and No. 6 Cornell Nov. 21. Last night, though, the Quakers played with passion, winning five games, 3-0, and another two games 3-1.

“It’s good to get a win on the board,” coach Craig Thorpe-Clark said. “That’s good for our confidence heading into the weekend.”

Though F&M; lacked depth, their top-level talent certainly competed with the Quakers’ best players. Froot and sophomore Trevor McGuinness — who finished last season at the top of Penn’s ladder and ranked No. 40 in the nation — both played matches that ended in 3-2 wins.

“As the top few matches indicated, they are a pretty capable group of players,” Thorpe-Clark said. “We felt that we would be stronger at the bottom of the lineup and that proved the case with us winning quite a few games by a score of 3-0.”

Froot echoed Clark’s praise of the team.

“We’re really pleased with [8-1],” Froot said, comparing it to last year’s 7-2 win.

As with any early-season match, Thorpe-Clark saw multiple areas for improvement.

“I’m obviously pleased with [the win] from a coach’s perspective,” he said. “I saw some things that we need to address and we’ll work on them in the next couple days.

“I think we need to be a little more assertive in the way we play, we need to be a little more clinical, we need to have a clearer picture of what it is we’re doing and go out and execute.”

The emotional win provides the Quakers with momentum going into a tough weekend. Penn will play Yale Saturday and Brown Sunday.

“It obviously works in our favor for us to have a good match a few days before a big weekend,” Thorpe-Clark said. “Yale is a highly-ranked team. We need to step up our game a notch.”

Froot jokingly added that after playing two matches minutes after one another two weeks ago, two games in two days will be fine with the Quakers.

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