Another weekend, another dramatic win for Penn men’s squash.
Just a week after freshman Andrew Douglas’ comeback win to beat No. 6 Rochester, Penn needed another ninth game win to beat Yale 5-4. Meanwhile, Penn’s women fell to the Elis by the same score. Against Brown on Sunday, both teams eliminated any chance for a dramatic ending by sweeping the Bears 9-0.
The clinching win over Yale, completed by junior Karim Hussein in four sets, allowed the men (8-1, 2-0 Ivy) to claim the best start to a season since 1985. The win created history in another way too – Penn’s win was the first over Yale (5-2, 1-2) at home since 1995.
On Saturday, the men got off to a strong start, winning four of the first five matches to put themselves a match away from a win with four still to go. Yale fought back, winning each of the next three, including wins at the Nos. 3 and 4. When it came down to Hussein, the junior took care of business relatively comfortably with three 11-5 wins in four sets.
Meanwhile, the women (5-2, 1-1) again struggled at the bottom of the ladder. While each of the top three Penn women won their respective matches in straight sets, the Quakers only won one match in the bottom six. Senior Reeham Sedky was once again magnificent at No. 1 for the Quakers, dropping only six points total in the win. Thanks to Sedky and company, the Penn women led 4-3 with two matches to play, but the Bulldogs (6-1, 2-1) won both to clinch the win.
After the tight matches against Yale on Saturday, Penn men’s squash turned their attention to Brown (1-3, 0-3) on Sunday. No. 1 Douglas led the charge and maintained his undefeated record by notching a seventh three set sweep in nine matches. In fact, only one Penn player required all five sets to put away his opponent – junior Max Reed came back from 1-0 and 2-1 down to win the deciding set 11-5.
The women’s defeat of Brown (0-4, 0-3) was the third 9-0 sweep of the season. The Bears have yet to win a single match so far, losing 9-0 all four times. Alongside Sedky, freshman Julia Buchholz remained undefeated this season, winning in four sets at No. 6.
Senior captain Melissa Alves went undefeated as well in her return to action this week. After missing the first half of the season to injury, Alves never missed a beat upon her return, winning both of her matches 3-0.
With a month left in the regular season and most of Ivy play still ahead, the Quakers know their work is far from finished.