PHILADELPHIA – The fifth-ranked Penn squash team (7-1, 1-1 Ivy) defeated No. 4 Trinity (8-1, 4-0 NESCAC), 6-3, handing the Bantams their first loss of the season. The Quakers made a strong push to move up the CSA rankings with Saturday’s win, and will now have a week and a half of rest before they take on No. 1 Princeton (5-0, 2-0) on Jan. 30 in New Jersey.
The star of the day for the Red and Blue was rookie Camille Lanier (7-0, 2-0) at the No. 8 position. The freshman dug herself out of two huge holes throughout the match, ultimately winning the five-game thriller, 3-2. After three games, Lanier was behind, 2-1, and losing one more game meant the match would go to Trinity. The D.C. native was trailing during the fourth game, but came back to win a tight one, 14-12. In the final game, with the match tied at two, Lanier found herself down, 9-7, just two points away from a loss. She stormed back in front of a crowd that surrounded her court, winning six of the next eight points, and the match with them.
At that point, the Quakers were ahead of the Bantams, 4-2, and one more win would seal their victory – enter Haidi Lala (6-0, 2-0) at the fourth position. The freshman from Cairo, Egypt knew that her match could win it for Penn, and subsequently made quick work of her opponent in straight games – she lost just four points in each of the first two games, and won the third, 11-0.
Leading up to Penn’s two largest wins of the day were the first three victories. The first match to end was at No. 9 between Chloe Blacker (7-0, 2-0) and Chanel Erasmus. The junior from New Jersey downed her opponent in four games, and at the time tied her team with Trinity at one. After Rachael Goh (4-2, 1-1) fell at No. 3, fellow senior Pia Trikha (4-0, 1-0) stepped up to tie the match once again. Trikha was victorious in four games at the fourth position. The second position was next to finish, and Yan Xin (5-1, 1-1) took the win in straight games, putting Penn up, 3-2, heading into Lanier’s match.
The last two matches of the day were at No. 1 between Nabilla Ariffin (3-2, 0-1) and Kanzy El Defrawy – Ariffin fell, 3-0, in straight games – and No. 7 between Courtney Jones (4-1, 1-1) and Sachika Balvani. Jones took her match in five games, cementing the 6-3 victory for the Quakers.
Penn will be back in action after an extended rest on Jan. 30. They will travel to Princeton, N.J. for a 7:30 p.m. match against the top-ranked Tigers.
Penn 6, Trinity 3
No. 1: Kanzy El Defrawy (T) def. Nabilla Ariffin (P) 3-0, (11-1, 11-2, 11-1)
No. 2: Yan Xin (P) def. Catalina Pelaez (T) 3-0, (11-8, 11-8, 11-1)
No. 3: Wee Nee Low (T) def. Rachael Goh (P) 3-2, (11-9, 7-11, 11-8, 3-11, 11-7)
No. 4: Haidi Lala (P) def. Robyn Hodgson (T) 3-0, (11-4, 11-4, 11-0)
No. 5: Pia Trikha (P) def. Ashley Tidman (T) 3-1, (11-5, 6-11, 13-11, 11-7)
No. 6: Natalie Babjukova (T) def. Yarden Odinak (P) 3-2, (7-11, 11-8, 6-11, 11-7, 11-1)
No. 7: Courtney Jones (P) def. Sachika Balvani (T) 3-2, (11-7, 6-11, 11-6, 1-11, 11-6)
No. 8: Camille Lanier (P) def. Jennifer Pelletier (T) 3-2, (4-11, 11-9, 8-11, 14-12, 13-11)
No. 9: Chloe Blacker (P) def. Chanel Erasmus (T) 3-1, (8-11, 11-9, 11-7, 11-7)
No. 10: Ailsa Agnew (P) def. Katiria Sanchez (T) 3-0, (11-4, 11-3, 11-7)