This weekend, Penn squash clashed with its New York Ivy rivals to close out conference play.
On Friday, the Red and Blue swept Cornell after being led, fittingly, by its senior class on Senior Day. Against Columbia, the results were split: the men fell 6-3, while the women won 5-4.
Freshman Aly Abou Eleinen continued to shine and put up the first team point for the Quakers (12-3, 5-2 Ivy) with a dominant 3-0 victory over Charles Culhane of Cornell (4-11, 1-6). Sophomore Andrew Douglas performed well in the No. 1 spot for Penn with a 3-0 win over Andrew Muran.
Senior Jonathan Zeitels was the first from his class to score for Penn, which he did with a 3-0 defeat of Cornell's Nikhil Iyer. Zeitels' classmates Karim Tarek and Max Reed walked away in their last home match with 3-1 and 3-0 wins, respectively.
On the women’s side, the Quakers (10-4, 4-3) narrowly escaped the Big Red (5-10, 1-6) on Senior Day.
Penn opened up the match with two commanding wins by junior Jessica Davis and sophomore Julia Buchholz to give Penn a 2-0 lead. The Quakers were unable to keep the momentum going as the match went back and forth, and it would take the final match for a winner to be determined.
Junior No. 5 Lindsay Stanley went into her match with Cornell’s Colby Gallagher with the score tied 4-4. Stanley won her first game, 11-6, and then narrowly beat Gallagher in the second game, 11-9. In the third game, Stanley took a commanding 11-4 victory to give Penn a 5-4 team victory.
On Sunday in New York, Columbia (8-5, 4-3) was victorious on the men’s side, handing the Red and Blue a 6-3 loss. The Quakers took an early lead, but Columbia eventually began to pull away, going on a 5-0 run to close out the match.
Eleinen opened up the match by continuing his winning ways, showing that the future is bright for the Quakers. Eleinen defeated the Lions' James Wyatt by a score of 3-0, giving the Penn a 1-0 lead.
Zeitels and sophomore Yash Bhargava were also able to come away with 3-1 victories, but the Red and Blue struggled through the rest of their lineup and ended up dropping their second Ivy League match of the season.
On the women’s side, the Red and Blue eked out a one point win once again.
Penn again opened up with two victories, this time from Davis and sophomore Haley Scott who won by scores of 3-0 and 3-2, respectively. The Quakers were up, 2-0, but were unable to hold on to the lead and dropped the next two matches to even the score at 2-2.
Going into the final two matches, the Quakers were down 4-3 in the match. Sophomore Nicole Windreich and junior No. 6 Clare Kearns were in must-win situations, and both excelled to make the Penn victorious in the match.
Windreich defeated Columbia’s Pranjali Sharma, 3-0, to tie the score at 4-4, and Kearns defeated Doria Chen of Columbia (7-6, 3-4) in the last match of the day in five games to give the Red and Blue another narrow team win.
The Quakers will next be in action on Feb. 15 in New Haven, Conn. for the College Squash Association Team Championships.
All comments eligible for publication in Daily Pennsylvanian, Inc. publications.