In a weekend with four separate 7-2 results, both Penn squash teams produced results as expected — two convincing victories for the men (13-0, 3-0), and two disheartening losses for the women (7-5, 1-2).
Competing against number four Trinity Saturday and number five Yale Sunday, the top-ranked men’s team took care of business on the short road trip and showcased its dominance against the two historical powerhouses. For two matches with the exact same outcome, however, the story of each contest couldn’t have been further apart.
The men's team cruised through Saturday, clinching the match after the minimum five games. Nathan Kueh finished first with a 3-0 victory against Ahmed Ismail to stay undefeated on the season. Nick Spizzirri, Dana Santry, Roger Baddour, and Yash Bhargava all subsequently won, and the Quakers were officially 12-0. The back end of the day did bring points of unease, however, with rare losses from both James Flynn and Dillon Huang, moving them both to 8-1 on the season.
The next day had a polar start, where quick losses of Flynn and Baddour put the Quakers in a 2-0 hole. The rest of the lineup swept the Bulldogs, however, led by characteristically impressive performances from Andrew Douglas and Aly Abou Eleinen. With just 9 concessions out of 117 competition matches, the men's team has lived up to expectations of outstanding results, with convincing victories over every single team they have played.
The Quakers will look to uphold their momentum, as primed as favorites for this year’s Potter Cup. Douglas, Abou Eleinen, and Flynn form a terrifying 1-2-3 combination, but the team’s success can just as much be attributed to its depth. Junior Saksham Choudhary, specifically, has fulfilled his role magnificently. He has yet to drop a game in a single competition match this season, and is tied for second on the team with 11 wins. He’s played at 5 spots in the lineup this season, and has shown he can be successful wherever coach Lane needs him.
The ninth-ranked women struggled to produce the results they wanted weekend, with blowout losses against second-ranked Trinity and fourth-ranked Yale. The Quaker women have yet to beat a team ranked ahead of them nationally this year. Jamila Abou El Enin and Navmi Sharma picked up wins on Saturday, defeating Jana Safy and Nanna Carleke. Sharma picked up another win on Sunday, making her the only one on the women's team with an undefeated weekend. Avni Anand also notched a victory against the Bulldogs.
The women's team is built on a younger lineup, with talent to foreshadow success in the future. There was only one competing senior and three competing freshmen this weekend, and experience against high-level programs bodes well for seasons to come.
The men and women will both gear up to face Columbia this Friday at 4 p.m., and hope to get the same, positive result in New York.