Total domination. There is no other way to describe it.
This weekend, Penn and Drexel co-hosted the first annual Pennsylvania State Classic Squash tournament. The tournament included four teams: Drexel, Franklin and Marshall, Dickinson and Penn. The tournament was a success for Penn in every sense of the word — the tournament was organized to perfection, and Penn finished in first place for both its men’s and women’s teams.
“I think [the tournament] was great,” men’s head coach Gilly Lane said. “The fact that we had four teams behind it, really enthusiastic. We really want to make it a bigger tournament in the future.”
Women’s coach Jack Wyant went on to note the sense of camaraderie within the sport, and the tournament was no exception. On Saturday night, between the first and second rounds of the tournament, the four teams shared a dinner together at the Kozloff room in Penn's Hutchinson Gym. At this dinner, Franklin and Marshall confirmed that the tournament will continue next year with them as the hosts.
As for what happened on the court, after a pair of third-place finishes last weekend for both the men’s and women’s teams at the Ivy League tournament, Penn was motivated to improve on its respective finishes. The Quakers did more than just that.
In their first matches of the tournament on Saturday, the men’s and women’s teams both shut out Franklin and Marshall in dominating 9-0 victories. For the women, none of these nine matches lasted more than three games.
“The women, we’re a young team,” Wyant said. “I’ve seen a lot of improvement week to week especially since the scrimmage last week. We’re gonna need to keep improving because we have Stanford and UVA next week.”
Playing in the top spot for the women (2-0), junior Reeham Sedky won her match on Saturday, starting off with 28 unanswered points. By the end of the match, Sedky had just let up one point, dominating the entire time.
Sedky's dominance continued into Sunday against Drexel, winning her match once again, three games to zero. The Quakers' women’s team followed suit, beating Drexel 9-0 and winning the inaugural Pennsylvania State Squash Classic.
As for the men (2-0), they followed up their 9-0 victory on Saturday with an 8-1 victory over the Dragons on Sunday, avenging the tough loss they faced to the Dragons near the conclusion of last season.
The Quakers' men’s team played well top to bottom. Notably, it even received production from their freshmen. Freshman Ryan Murray won both of his matches this weekend in three games each. On Sunday, he started off hot going up nine points to zero in his first game. Throughout the match, Murray was able to perfect his combination of slices, drop shots, and lob shots in order to beat his opponent.
To conclude the tournament, fellow freshman Andrew Douglas, playing in the one spot, won three games to zero in an intense bout.
“I started strong. I really wanted to have a good performance this weekend being that it’s my first college matches,” Douglas said. “I knew there were only two [matches] the whole weekend, so I put everything into each match everyday.”
Moving ahead, the Quakers seem to have a promising season ahead.
“It’s just a matter of keeping going the rest of the season,” Douglas said. “It’s a good start, but we don’t wanna get too far ahead. We just have to keep going. We have to keep building every week.”
As the first-ever victors of the tournament, the Quakers' men’s and women’s teams were rewarded the pride that comes with being champions — plus a little something extra.
“The deal we made with coaches was that the winning team gets to go out and pick a trophy,” Wyant said. “Luckily our men and women get to go out and [choose it].”
Off to a promising start in preseason play, the Quakers look to keep the momentum rolling with wins next week. The men’s and women’s teams play next Saturday at the University of Virginia.