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Penn mens Squash vs F&M Credit: Garrett Gomez , Garrett Gomez

For the powers that be at the Collegiate Squash Association, determining the final team to make the Potter Cup was no easy task. Four Ivy schools — Penn, Cornell, Princeton and Dartmouth — were all in the running heading into last weekend’s docket of matches.

But, by the skin of its teeth, the Penn men’s squash team earned its second consecutive berth in the prestigious Potter Cup, set to take place over the weekend at Trinity’s Kellner Squash Center.

The No. 8 Quakers (8-6, 3-4 Ivy) jumped up two spots from tenth in the CSA rankings over the weekend after defeating Cornell 8-1 at home, a crucial match that sealed Penn’s place in the Potter Cup. Although the Quakers fell to No. 4 Columbia, 7-2, the next day, that loss was not enough to keep the Red and Blue out of the top flight.

Much of Penn’s success this year can be attributed to the talented cohort of freshman taking up the top spots on the ladder — Marwan Mahmoud at No. 1, Derek Hsue at No. 2 and Hayes Murphy at No. 3. The trio of rookies has a combined record of 26-16, a vast improvement over last season when the players holding down the top three ladder spots tallied a dismal 10-36 record.

Although the youngsters are clearly the most formidable aspect of the Quakers’ lineup, they will have to rely on the experience of the team’s veterans to prepare for the hype that CSA Nationals brings and to keep their nerves in check.

After earning a berth in the Potter Cup for the first time in five years in the 2013-14 season, the team’s veterans got a taste of the nation’s premiere collegiate squash tournament. However, the Red and Blue fell, 7-2, to St. Lawrence in the first round to finish the season at eighth in the country.

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