The results are promising, but they're not getting ahead of themselves.
This weekend, both Penn men’s and women’s squash finished third in the annual Ivy league squash scrimmages at Yale. It was a stellar result for the men's team, and a finish which may not have been perfect for the women, but still good nonetheless.
In these scrimmages, all eight Ivy League teams were seeded based on their finish from last season's championships. The men started the weekend as a seven seed while the women had the No. 2 spot.
The men vastly outperformed last year's ranking. Though these matches were just exhibitions, the Quakers' third place finish was their highest in the last 15 years. Over the weekend, the men went 2-1 with big wins over Dartmouth and Yale.
Still, men’s coach Gilly Lane is not getting overly excited about the results.
“We’re still in that area where we are still improving,” Lane said. “We are trying to get better everyday. Our motto is one day at a time and I think we have to stick to that.”
One of Penn’s most prominent performers over the weekend was senior captain Hayes Murphy, who played “three ridiculous matches,” according to Lane.
His biggest win was his match-sealing performance against Yale, where he fought off five match points to snatch the victory. Aside from the senior captain, sophomore David Yacobucci showed a lot of promise, going 2-1 at the No. 3 position after playing at No. 7 for the Quakers last year.
Despite injuries to junior Rowaida Attia and first-team All-Ivy senior Melissa Alves, the women's squad finished only one spot below its initial seed at No. 2.
In particular, sophomore Jessica Davis provided a spark for the Quakers. After playing mainly at the No. 4 and No. 5 positions, Davis played at No. 3 this weekend and did not disappoint, going 3-0 on the weekend and only dropping one game all weekend.
In addition to Davis, reigning Ivy League Player of the Year junior Reeham Sedky, nicknamed “The Hammer” by her coaches and teammates, had another strong weekend playing at No. 1. Still, there is always room to improve, according to women’s coach Jack Wyant.
“What we are trying to do is work on the softer side,” Wyant said. “A little more touch, a little more deception.” Even with needed adjustments to her game, Penn squash expects nothing less than another dominant season from its star.
As the preseason winds down “We are definitely excited to have the matches count,” Lane said.
Looking ahead, both teams will face Franklin and Marshall at the Penn State Classic on November 11.
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