HARTFORD, Conn. - For the sixth time in the last seven meetings, the match between Penn and Trinity finished as a 5-4 final. However, it would be the Quakers (4-2) that came out on the wrong end of the decision in this year's showdown on Trinity's courts. The Bantams (11-2) controlled the top-four matches on ladder, defeating all four of Penn's returning All-Americans to go along with their win at No. 8.
Penn was 3-1 on the day in matches that were decided in 3-0 sweeps. However, the Quakers uncharacteristically dropped both matches that went the full five games and were just 1-2 in matches that went four games.
Playing a three-court system, Penn jumped out early to a 2-1 lead after the first set of matches. Making a return trip to her hometown, Stephanie Vogel felt right at home in her victory at No. 6. After taking the first game, 11-7, Vogel allowed just three points in the second game. She would then close out her win with a 12-10 tiebreak victory to seal the sweep.
Chloe Blacker, playing at No. 9, also found herself up 2-0 in the early going, allowing just 11 points in the first two games. However, she would not be able to come away with a tiebreak win in her third game. Showing her ability to bounce-back, Blacker again found herself in tiebreak in the next game. This time, she clinched her match with the 12-10 victory in the fourth. Pia Trikha was down two games early on at No. 3, but rebounded with a convincing 11-1 win in the third game. However, her opponent closed the match with an 11-8 fourth game win.
Courtney Jones extended the Quakers' lead for the time being with her win at No. 6. After allowing just three points in her first game, Jones took the second and third games by 11-8 and 11-6 scores to stretch Penn's lead to 3-1. At No. 8, Colleen Fehm jumped out to a quick lead with a tiebreak win followed by an 11-4 win in the second. Like so many other Trinity players, Fehm's opponent would not go down easily in the third and won the fourth in a tiebreak. She would then complete the comeback with an 11-9 final in the decisive game.
The Bantams would then tie the team score at three-all with their second five-game win at No. 2. Nabilla Ariffin, playing down a spot in the ladder, went up 1-0 with a tiebreak win in the first, but her opponent answered back with a second game win. Ariffin again went up a game with an 11-8 win in the third, but again her opponent knotted the match, this time at two-all. In the decisive game, Trinity's No. 2 closed the win with an 11-8 fifth game win.
Trinity took the lead for the first time all day when they won at No. 4. Yarden Odinak found herself down a game, but knotted her match at one-all with a tiebreak win in the second. However, her opponent would take the third and fourth games, putting Trinity up 4-3. Leslie Gill answered right back for Penn with her 3-0 win. After taking the first two games, 11-9 and 11-6, Gill put an exclamation on her victory with a dominating 11-2 win in the third game. This tied the team score at four-all with one match left to finish on the courts.
The team score would ultimately be decided by each school's No. 1 player. For Penn, Rachael Goh was playing her first match of the year at No. 1. The junior had played just one match in the top position during her Penn career, which she won against Williams. However, this match would not go her way as she fell in just her second career match at No. 1 as Trinity came away with the team win, 5-4.
Looking to shake off the tough loss, Penn will get back into Ivy League play this weekend as Brown and No. 2 Yale visit the Ringe Squash Courts this Saturday and Sunday. Also on Saturday, the women's team will take on Stanford following the match with Brown.
Trinity 5, Penn 4
No. 1: Catalina Pelaez (T) def. Rachael Goh (P) (3-0), 11-2, 11-8, 11-4
No. 2: Wee Nee Low (T) def. Nabilla Ariffin (P) (3-2), 10-12, 11-6, 9-11, 11-5, 11-8
No. 3: Alicia Rodriguez (T) def. Pia Trikha (P) (3-1), 11-9, 11-6, 1-11, 11-4
No. 4: Ashley Tidman (T) def. Yarden Odinak (P) (3-1), 11-5, 12-14, 11-4, 11-8
No. 5: Courtney Jones (P) def. Natalie Babjukova (T) (3-0), 11-3, 11-8, 11-6
No. 6: Stephanie Vogel (P) def. Jennifer Pelletier (T) (3-0), 11-7, 11-3, 12-10
No. 7: Leslie Gill (P) def. Andrea Echeverria (T) (3-0), 11-9, 11-6, 11-2
No. 8: Robyn Hodgson (T) def. Colleen Fehm (P) (3-2), 13-15, 4-11, 11-8, 13-11, 11-9
No. 9: Chloe Blacker (P) def. Pamela Jimenez (T) (3-1), 11-6, 11-5, 14-16, 12-10
No. 10: Chanel Erasmus (T) def. Hyland Murphy (P) (3-0), 11-8, 11-4, 11-6