PHILADELPHIA – With just two matches remaining in the regular season, the University of Pennsylvania men’s squash team is looking to finish strong in Ivy League play, as well as possibly move into the top eight of the College Squash Association rankings, when it faces Cornell and Columbia this weekend.
First, the 10th-ranked Quakers (7-5, 2-3 Ivy) will play seventh-ranked Cornell (5-6, 1-4 Ivy) at home on Friday beginning at 5 p.m. inside the Ringe Squash Courts. Penn and Cornell are currently tied in fifth place in the Ivy League standings.
Penn will honor its seniors in its last home match of the 2014-15 season – captain Jack Maine, captain Michael Mutscheller, and Will Michele.
On Sunday, the Red and Blue will play at fourth-ranked Columbia (10-2, 4-1 Ivy) at the SL Green Street Squash Center beginning at 1 p.m., concluding the regular season and Ivy League play.
Follow the men’s squash team action on Twitter – @PennSquash.
SCOUTING CORNELL: Ranked seventh in the current CSA rankings, the Big Red will certainly drop in the polls after a 5-4 defeat to Dartmouth this past Sunday. Cornell has just one Ivy win, an 8-1 decision over Brown. Other wins for Cornell came versus Western Ontario, Williams, George Washington, and Drexel. The team is led by senior Aditya Jagtap, freshman Seb Obieta-Chichizola, and sophomore Harry Freeman.
THE SERIES WITH CORNELL: Penn holds the overall series advantage over Cornell, 43-20, but recently has found little success in the Ivy rivalry. The Big Red have won the seven consecutive matches against the Quakers, including an 8-1 victory last season.
SCOUTING COLUMBIA: Before facing Penn on Sunday, the Lions will take on Princeton Friday evening on the road. Columbia is in the midst of one of its best season since adding men’s squash as a varsity sport and is currently in second place in the Ivy League. Signature wins for the Lions have come against Franklin & Marshall, Cornell, Yale, and Rochester. Columbia is led by senior Ramit Tandon and freshman Osama Khalifa.
THE SERIES WITH COLUMBIA: This will be just the sixth meeting between Penn and Columbia, with the Quakers leading the series, 4-1. After a 5-4 defeat on the road in 2013, Penn won 5-4 at home in 2014.
PENN SENIORS: The Penn squash program will recognize seniors Jack Maine, Michael Mutscheller and Will Michele on Friday. A two-time captain Maine has compiled a 26-22 overall record and 11-10 Ivy record in four years playing in a variety of positions on the ladder. Serving as a captain in his senior season, Mutscheller has totaled a 22-28 overall record and 8-14 Ivy record, playing as high as the fifth position on the ladder. In just his second season, Michele has a 2-4 overall record and is 1-1 in the Ivy League, playing primarily in the ninth or 10th position.
TWO WINS MATTER: Victories over both Cornell and Columbia would most certainly move the Quakers into the top eight in the CSA rankings and an opportunity to play in the top-flight Potter Cup for the second consecutive season. It would be the first time Penn has played in the highest bracket for consecutive season since 2007-08 and 2008-09.