PHILADELPHIA – It will be a short walk down 33rd Street for the University of Pennsylvania men’s and women’s squash teams, as the Quakers take on neighbor Drexel this evening, with the women beginning at 5 p.m. and the men at 6:30 p.m.
The top-ranked women’s Quakers (7-1) defeated then No. 1 Harvard, 5-4, on Jan. 11 before being edged by No. 2 Trinity, 5-4 just three days later. The match against Trinity came down to the final game as the overall match was tied 4-4, and the final individual match tied 2-2.
The No. 10 ranked Quaker men (5-3) are coming off back-to-back 7-2 defeats, alas coming against No. 5 Harvard and No. 2 Trinity. Prior to the two losses, the men defeated No. 8 Dartmouth, 7-2.
Follow the Penn men’s and women’s squash teams on Twitter – @PennSquash.
SCOUTING DREXEL (WOMEN): The 14th-ranked Dragons (4-5) have won four straight matches after beginning the season 0-5. The four wins came on a trip to Massachusetts, where Drexel defeated Smith, Wesleyan, Bowdoin, and Amherst. The Dragons are led at the top of their ladder by freshmen Hayley Hughes and Ryan Morgan, along with sophomore Elisa Money.
THE SERIES WITH DREXEL (WOMEN): This will be just the third meeting between the two schools on the women’s side. Penn has won the previous two matches, 9-0, in 2012 and 2014.
THE MIDDLE OF THE QUAKER LADDER: The No. 4 and No. 5 positions on the Penn women’s ladder have proven to be anchors for the team. Freshman Marie Stephan and sophomore Michelle Wong have gone a combined 10-0 in the two spots, including wins against No. 1 Harvard and No. 2 Trinity.
LEADING BY EXAMPLE: Senior captain Leslie Gill is 8-0 overall this season, including 1-0 at the No. 8 position, and 4-0 in the No. 9 position. Against Trinity, Gill rallied from five points down in the fifth game to win 12-10, and the match, 3-2. Her victory pushed the Quakers to a 4-4 tie, setting the stage for the deciding match.
SCOUTING DREXEL (MEN): The 12th-ranked Drexel men (4-4) also found its first four wins of the season on the team’s Massachusetts trip. The Dragons defeated Western Ontario, Wesleyan, Bowdoin, and Amherst. Drexel is led at the top of its ladder by freshmen Luke Willemse and Atticus Kelly, along with sophomore Michael Thompson, and senior Ibrahim Bakir.
THE SERIES WITH DREXEL (MEN): On the men’s side, Penn and Drexel have met three times prior, with the Quakers winning matches – 7-2, 6-3, 9-0. The Quakers have won twice at home, and once on the road.
QUAKER FRESHMEN CONTINUE TO IMPRESS: In the 7-2 defeats against No. 5 Harvard and No. 2 Trinity, the four individual victories came from Penn’s freshmen class. Against Harvard it was Anders Larson and Marwan Mahmoud, and against the Bantams it was Mahmoud once more and James Watson. The Quakers five freshmen have played in one of the top six positions in every match this season. The classmates have combined for a 28-12 overall mark through Penn’s first seven matches – Marwan Mahmoud (6-2), Derek Hsue (5-3), Hayes Murphy (4-4), Anders Larson (6-2), and James Watson (7-1).