msquash-eleinen-edit

Freshman Aly Abou Eleinen played second singles for the first time all season for Penn men's squash and picked up two important wins this weekend.

Credit: Kaitlin Rowan

The competition might have been tough, but it didn’t prevent the Quakers from coming out on top. 

Penn men’s squash won both matches it competed in this weekend, defeating No. 5 Rochester 6-3 on Saturday and No. 4 St. Lawrence 7-2 on Sunday. The two road victories in New York continued an extremely successful start to the season for the No. 6 Quakers (6-0), who have defeated five top-15 teams already in their undefeated run. 

In their first match of the weekend against Rochester (3-1), the Red and Blue were led by a trio of freshmen. James Flynn, Michael Mehl, and Aly Abou Eleinen all earned 3-1 victories in the first five matches of the day, giving Penn an early lead. Eleinen, who competed in the second slot in the lineup for the first time all season, dominated an 11-4 fourth game to clinch a point, and Flynn and Mehl bounced back from second-game losses to give the team two more victories. 

Senior Karim Hussein gave the Quakers another four-game win, overcoming an 11-3 second-game defeat of his own to put Penn one point away from a team triumph. Sophomore Yash Bhargava came through for the Red and Blue, winning a dramatic five-game match with a tight 11-9 victory in the final frame. 

Even after the outcome of the matches had already been decided, the Quakers still came up with more success. Senior Jonathan Zeitels concluded the competition with a four-game win, bouncing back with three wins in a row after losing the opener. 

On Sunday at St. Lawrence (0-2), the Quakers had an even more dominant win. Six players swept their matches, giving the team much more comfortable victories than the ones they earned the day prior. Junior Wil Hagen, who lost in four games against Rochester, cruised to a win in the eighth slot, dropping only nine points in the entire match. 

Hussein and Flynn were victorious for the second day in a row, helping lead the Red and Blue to an early lead that they would not relinquish. With the matches nearing their conclusion, Bhargava clinched victory once again for the team, winning the first game 11-1 and never looking back on the way to a sweep of his own. 

Eleinen had a tighter match than some of the other Quakers, dropping the third and fourth frames after jumping out to an early lead. However, he still came through for his second win in as many days with an 11-7 victory in the final game. 

The weekend’s successes brought the Red and Blue to 6-0 for the first time since 2015. The wins also mark the last competition of the calendar year for the Quakers, who will not play again until Jan. 12 against Yale to kick off Ivy League matches.

All comments eligible for publication in Daily Pennsylvanian, Inc. publications.