On Wednesday, No. 6 Penn men’s squash will visit No. 9 Drexel in a battle for the title of Philadelphia’s best squad. Over the years Penn has been the better of the two rivals, but captain BG Lemmon knows that those results mean nothing going into Wednesday’s contest.
“We know Drexel is hungry to beat us,” Lemmon said. “They want to be the kings of Philadelphia.”
This year’s Drexel team (3-2) is once again coached by John White, a former world number one squash player. Having a coach of that caliber can be a huge boost for any program. Lemmon himself is familiar with White, having had many interactions with the former pro over the years.
“They have an incredible coach. I’ve worked with him at a couple squash camps, so I know the passion he brings and the energy he brings.”
While the Quakers (2-0) recognize that Drexel will be a tough opponent, they are also optimistic about their chances. After a preseason of two-a-days, the players feel prepared for any challenge. Having the skill to win is important, but there is more that goes into winning a match than just ability.
“We have to do the little things right,” Lemmon said. “We must hydrate and eat right so we are ready to go.”
The Dragons’ 3-2 record is not stellar, but a bit misleading. Drexel’s losses have come against No. 1 Trinity and No. 7 Columbia. The Quakers, meanwhile, have faced less stiff competition in Virginia and George Washington, but their wins have been convincing as the Red and Blue have won both of their first two matchups in 9-0 fashion.
Penn has never lost to Drexel in five meetings, but the Dragons made it close last year in a 5-4 duel.
Despite the layoff between Drexel and the team’s first matches — a week and a half without competition — this Red and Blue will be hitting the ground running starting on Wednesday, with three matches in a five-day span.
After the Drexel match the team will have little time to rest before facing Rochester on Saturday and St. Lawrence on Sunday. Penn will be looking to come out on top against Drexel to build up some early season momentum before a busy weekend.