PHILADELPHIA - Just days after becoming the latest victim of juggernaut Trinity, the Penn men's squash team showed flashes of dominance themselves Tuesday as they defeated the Franklin & Marshall Diplomats, 9-0. The No. 10 Quakers won 3-0 in six of the nine matches over No. 14 Franklin & Marshall en route to the victory.
Mark Froot got the Quakers off to a strong start from the No. 2 position when he posted a 3-0 triumph early on (9-1, 9-2, 9-3). Senior co-captain Ryan Rayfield was next on the board, winning 9-6, 9-1, 9-3 to take his No. 6 match. Stepping into the main court after Froot, senior co-captain Lee Rosen stuck around just long enough to post a whirlwind 9-0, 9-5, 9-3 victory at the No. 1 position.
After James Clark pulled out a 3-1 win at No. 4 (9-4, 6-9, 9-2, 9-5), the Quakers held a commanding 4-0 lead. It appeared likely to drop to 4-1, though, when senior Pierce Cravens fell behind 2-1 in his match at No. 8 (7-9, 9-7, 5-9). Undeterred, Cravens bolted out to a 6-1 lead in the fourth game and seemed poised to take the match to a fifth and deciding game. His opponent, however, F&M's Benjamin Lurio, did not go easily as he stormed back to take an 8-6 lead. With a crowd of teammates and supporters cheering him on, Cravens rebounded and pulled out a 10-8 victory in the fourth game. He secured the victory with a 9-4 win in the fifth frame.
Junior Joey Raho made quck work of his opponent at No. 5, winning 9-5, 9-4, 9-5. Porter Drake also won in decisive fashion, taking his No. 3match 9-3, 9-2, 9-0. Taking over on the court after Cravens wrapped up his victory, No. 7 Bobby Dickey did not let his opponent hang around as he claimed a 3-0 win of his own (9-1, 9-6, 9-2).
The final match of the day saw freshman Jay Bhagat taking on sophomore Zarir Aibara of Franklin & Marshall at the No. 9 position. The two natives of Mumbai, India were extraordinarily evenly matched through three games, with Bhagat falling behind 2-1 (10-8, 7-9, 8-10). Like Cravens, though, Bhagat was determined not to be the first Quaker to fall. He took control of the fourth game and pulled out a 9-7 victory, then ran out to a 8-2 lead in the fifth game, seemingly insurmountable.
Aibara charged back, breaking Bhagat's serve and eventually pulling to within a point at 8-7. He would come no closer, though, as Bhagat regained his serve and set up a perfect drop shot to earn the final point. The Quakers' victory had long since been assured, but the shutout remained intact.
Along with the nine Quakers who earned points on the evening, Penn's three exhibition players also won their matches. Chayapong Naviroj claimed victory at No. 10, while a win at No. 12 by Jamie Rufe was followed by a victory at No. 11 by Rory Heilakka.
The Quakers will now enjoy a week off before returning to Ringe Courts, where they will face Princeton on February 6. That match is set to begin at 7 p.m.
1. Lee Rosen def. Sadiq Madraswala 3-0 (9-0, 9-5, 9-3)
2. Mark Froot def. Chris Gagnier 3-0 (9-1, 9-2, 9-3)
3. Porter Drake def. Jehangir Aibara 3-0 (9-3, 9-2, 9-0)
4. James Clark def. Shane Slater 3-1 (9-4, 6-9, 9-2, 9-5)
5. Joey Raho def. Ry Hawley 3-0 (9-5, 9-4, 9-5)
6. Ryan Rayfield def. Patrick Pasquariello 3-0 (9-6, 9-1, 9-3)
7. Bobby Dickey def. Seth Cruice 3-0 (9-1, 9-6, 9-2)
8. Pierce Cravens def. Benjamin Lurio 3-2 (7-9, 9-7, 5-9, 10-8, 9-4)
9. Jay Bhagat def. Zarir Aibara 3-2 (10-8, 7-9, 8-10, 9-7, 9-7)