Another week, another dominant performance for the Quakers.
Over the weekend, No. 3 ranked Penn men’s squash hosted No. 6 Rochester and No. 15 St. Lawrence at the Penn Squash Center, winning both matches by scores of 7-2 and 9-0, respectively. The No. 7 Red and Blue women's team played only on Sunday against St. Lawrence, cruising to a 9-0 victory over the Saints.
The action began on Saturday when the men's team (6-0) faced off against Rochester (1-2). Penn jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead as sophomore Aly Abou Eleinen, senior David Yacobucci, freshman Saksham Choudhary, and sophomore James Flynn all won their matches by a score of 3-0.
Although Rochester fought back to win the next two matches, junior Andrew Douglas secured the Penn victory with the team’s fifth point in a 3-0 win.
“Rochester is perennially one of the best teams in the country, so I was extremely proud of how the first four guys kicked off the match yesterday. They really put us out to a good lead and gave that second string of guys a lot of confidence moving forward,” coach Gilly Lane said.
The Yellowjackets were the highest-ranked opponent the Quakers have defeated since their win against No. 5 Dartmouth in 2018.
On Sunday, the Red and Blue played their final match of 2019. Taking the momentum of the Rochester victory, Penn won 9-0 for the fourth time this season, the most over a six-game span to open a season since 2006-07.
“It’s always exciting to play St. Lawrence because they are a tough team. They’re really talented, so you really have to bring your A-game. We prepared well, and it definitely helped to have gotten a win against Rochester. That win really gave us a confidence boost,” Eleinen said.
Before the matches even began, the Quakers took a 1-0 lead due to a default by St. Lawrence. From there on, Penn showed no sign of slowing down, taking the next eight matches by storm. The day was highlighted by the play of Douglas and Flynn, who won hard-fought matches by tight margins in five and four games, respectively.
By the end of the day, the freshman standout Choudhary remained undefeated this season, extending his winning streak to 18 consecutive games.
On the women’s side, the Red and Blue (4-1) returned to action for the first time in two weeks, and they picked up right where they left off. Not only did they win 9-0, but for the second time this season, the Quakers didn’t drop a single game.
There were two new additions to the lineup this weekend, as senior Clare Kearns and junior Margaret Frantz played at the No. 8 and No. 9 slots, respectively. Both won their matches convincingly.
“[Kearns] is not really a newcomer. She’s played in a number of varsity matches over the past three seasons and has become someone that we have relied on, so putting her in was a no-brainer," coach Jack Wyant said. "[Frantz] has not played in as many varsity matches. We elected to put her in because she has worked incredibly hard, and it was a great opportunity for her."
Both teams will have a break until Jan. 11, when the Penn men's and women's squads will face off with No. 1 Harvard. It doesn’t happen often, but both teams will be underdogs.
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