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11-21-2021-womens-squash-versus-stanford-avni-anand-diego-cardenas

Sophomore Avni Anand serves during a match against Stanford on Nov. 21.

Credit: Diego Cárdenas Uribe

Penn men and women's squash had another four-match weekend after the teams' season debuts last week. 

Both teams played Virginia, Williams, and Bates; additionally, the men’s team took on Navy, while the women’s team fought against Stanford. All matches took place in the Penn Squash Center. 

Entering the weekend with a 4-0 record, the No. 1 nationally ranked men’s team kept its momentum, taking down No. 8 Virginia with a dominant 8-1 win on Friday. 

Senior Aly Abou Eleinen and graduate student Andrew Douglas each handed their respective opponents their first loss of the season. Graduate student Yash Bhargava fell short in a tough five-game match, suffering the team’s first defeat of the season. 

The Quakers were unstoppable in their other matches of the weekend, defeating No. 22 Navy, No. 14 Williams, and No. 23 Bates with three straight 9-0 victories — dropping only four games in total. Junior Alexander Trauber wrapped up the weekend for the Red and Blue, taking down his opponent after an intense match, in which he won all three games by only two points. 

“I think we did a good job. Obviously, we rank No. 1 in the country right now, so we have all the pressure on us, and every team is trying to show up and beat us,” Eleinen said. “We just look forward to ending the year on a good note. Right now, we are 8-0. We are just taking one match at a time. The goal is just to get the ninth win, 10th win, and then 11th win. The goal is to take one step at a time, and hopefully to get to the national championship.” 

The No. 9-ranked women’s team took on its strongest opponent, No. 5 Virginia, on Friday afternoon. The Quakers went back and forth with the Cavaliers, and the winner was decided in the final match. 

Junior Euwie Park was on the verge of securing the win for the team, as she led 10-6 in the fourth game. However, her opponent managed to push through four match balls and eventually won the deciding fifth game, handing the Red and Blue a 5-4 defeat. 

Coming off a tough loss, the team was eager to bounce back on the following day against No. 10 Stanford. Although the top three spots in the lineup all fell short to their opponents, the rest of the team overcame the Cardinals, leading to a 6-3 victory. 

High morale accumulated, as the Quakers took down No. 12 Williams in the same afternoon, with only senior Jamila Abou El Enin dropping her match. 

The Red and Blue concluded its last matches of the weekend with a 9-0 win against No. 15 Bates on Sunday, dropping only two games. 

Sophomore Avni Anand played in all four matches and went undefeated.

“I think I just especially enjoy the team aspect of it — playing a match and looking outside, seeing the entire team, both the guys and girls, and also watching the rest of my teammates,” Anand said. “It’s just a great sport, and it’s so much fun to play, so I just enjoy being on court, especially after it’s been so long. It’s just a great time.”

Up next, the men’s team will travel to Rochester, N.Y., on Dec. 4. The women’s team won’t face any competition until Jan. 12, when both teams will host Tufts in the Penn Squash Center. 

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