PHILADELPHIA - After starting the season as the fifth-ranked team in the country and rising to as high as the third-ranked team, the most important team rankings will be determined this weekend as women's squash competes in the Howe Cup. The Quakers enter the weekend as the fourth seed and immediately face an opening round challenge against No. 5 Trinity.
Penn's opening round match will get underway Friday at
11 a.m. Harvard, Yale and Princeton are the top-three seeds in the tournament,
respectively. No. 6 Stanford, No. 7 Cornell, and No. 8 Dartmouth round out the field. All matches between the top-eight teams will be played at Harvard.
Overall, Penn has won 74-percent of its matches contested in the top-nine, compiling a 73-26 record. They have a team record of 4-3 against the seven other teams competing in the top-tier. They outscored those seven teams, 38-25, during the regular season matches. Two of the team's three loses came in 5-4 matches where one match could have swung the victory to Penn's side. Trinity was one of the 5-4 losses that Penn suffered this season.
Second-team All-American Nabilla Ariffin has played the No. 1 spot on the ladder for the majority of the season. She is 6-5 overall, including a 5-3 record at the top spot. All of her wins have come in straight games this season. First-team All-American Rachael Goh has also seen time at No. 1 this season. She is 6-3 overall and has a record of 5-1 at her primary position of No. 2.
Two more second-team All-Americans from last year have filled the No. 3 and No. 4 positions this season. Pia Trikha enters the weekend with an 8-2 mark, including a 5-2 record in third spot on the ladder. Yarden Odinak is a team-best 9-2, including a 6-1 mark at No. 4. Trikha has a career record 38-6, while Odinak is 37-9 for her career. Both players can eclipse the 40-win mark as juniors this weekend.
Courtney Jones moved up to No. 5 throughout the year and has a season record of 8-2, including a 5-1 mark against Ivy League teams. Freshman Leslie Gill enters the team championships at 8-3 overall. She started the season at No. 9 and has moved up to No. 6. Both Jones and Gill have won six of their matches in three games.
Stephanie Vogel played No. 7 to close out the regular season. She has gone 8-2 overall and has not been beaten in her four matches at the seventh position. All eight of her victories have come in 3-0 sweeps, a team high. Chloe Blacker has also accumulated an 8-2 mark, playing at No. 8 most recently. She has dropped just five of her last 29 games, earning six sweeps during that span.
Freshmen Lindsay Wong and Colleen Fehm have held down the No. 9 and No. 10 positions lately. Wong has played the last two matches at No. 9 and is 3-1 in top-nine matches, 5-2 overall. Fehm played No. 10 the final weekend of the regular season. She has compiled an 8-3 record this year with six of those wins coming in the top-nine.
Hyland Murphy is currently 2-0 in her only matches played inside the top-nine. She is 4-2 overall inside the top-10. Jennie Shulkin is currently 2-0 in matches inside the top-10, including one win at No. 9. Lyles Swift-Farley has played one match at No. 9. She also has a win in her only match at No. 10.
In its regular season meeting at Trinity, Penn won three matches in three games and another in four, but dropped a pair of five-game matches and two more four-game matches that could have gone either way.
Princeton, Trinity and Penn all finished with 1-1 records against each other, but Princeton had the highest amount of wins in the head-to-head matches between the three schools to earn the third seed. The winner of Penn and Trinity will face the winner of No. 1 Harvard and No. 8 Dartmouth on Saturday.
Updates of the weekend's action will be available on the College Squash Association's website. Full recaps of Penn's matches will also be available on Penn Athletics when official scores are submitted to the College Squash Association.