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Penn women's squash finished in eighth place at the CSA Team Championships this weekend.

Credit: Gary Lin

This weekend, Penn women’s squash traveled to New Haven, Conn. to compete for the Howe Cup in the CSA Team Championships. 

The Red and Blue came up short in all three matchups in the tournament as they faced Trinity, Columbia, and Drexel. This performance led to an eighth-place finish overall.

In the first contest of the tournament, the No. 5 Quakers (8-8, 4-3 Ivy) fell to No. 4 Trinity (15-5) by a score of 9-0. Despite the lopsided nature of the first contest, the Quakers had two narrow defeats in contests against No. 8 Columbia (11-7, 4-3) and No. 7 Drexel (12-8).

In the Red and Blue's first contest, the matchup was much closer than the final score would suggest. In fact, four out of the nine matches played would need extra games to decide an ultimate winner. The Quakers could not win these tight matches, however, leading to Trinity taking away their chance at a top-four finish.

“They’re a very skillful team," coach Jack Wyant said. "They’re a tough matchup for us in terms of styles, and it wasn’t meant to be Friday."

Earlier this season, the Red and Blue defeated both Drexel and Columbia by a score of 5-4. This past weekend, however, the Quakers were unable to replicate their early season success against these teams. 

Against the Lions, Penn fell behind quickly, 2-0, before managing to win some matches of their own after freshman Amina Abou El Enin and junior captain Julia Buchholz won their respective matches. However, the Lions were ultimately able to secure the fifth match win that sealed the victory against the Quakers.

Following their loss to Columbia, the Red and Blue looked to rebound against the Dragons. Until the final moments, the matchup was extremely competitive, as the teams were tied at four heading into the last match of the day. However, sophomore Jamila Abou El Enin was defeated in three games, which sealed the victory for Drexel. 

The Quakers' season ended with most of their contests ending in close fashion. The Red and Blue were only shutout once this season against Trinity.

“We’ll be in a lot of really close contests, and I do believe in this group because they believe in one another and enjoy training hard, and if that holds true then absolutely I expect some of those close losses will be wins in our favor,” Wyant said.

The Red and Blue have a talented, young team as almost half of their starters are freshmen. In addition, with seven out of their nine players returning, including captain Julia Buchholz, the Quakers have the entire offseason to flip the script. 

While the team's season is complete, individual players still have something to play for this season. On Mar. 6, these players will be at the Penn Squash Center, where they will compete for the CSA Individual Championships.

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