PHILADELPHIA – The 11th-ranked University of Pennsylvania men’s squash team returns from its training trip across the Atlantic Ocean in London, England to begin Ivy League play and arguably its toughest stretch of matches this season.
Penn (4-1) faces No. 8 Dartmouth (1-2) on Saturday at 12 p.m., turning right around to take on No. 5 Harvard (1-2) on Sunday at 2 p.m. Both matches will take place at Ringe Courts.
After facing two of their Ivy rivals this weekend, the Quakers will host No. 2 Trinity on Wednesday, rounding out the stretch of three matches infive days versus top-10 opponents.
To read more about the trip the men’s team took to London over winter break, you can read blog entries from the team by clicking here.
SCOUTING DARTMOUTH: Beginning the season with two tough matches, the Big Green’s two losses this season have come against Harvard – at the time ranked No. 1 – and No. 3 Trinity. Dartmouth also defeated Navy, 5-4, before Christmas. Top returners for the Big Green are juniors Kyle Martino and James Fisch. Dartmouth will travel to Philadelphia to face Drexel on Friday afternoon before facing the Quakers on Saturday. They will then face No. 9 Princeton on Sunday.
THE SERIES WITH DARTMOUTH: Penn leads the overall matchup with Dartmouth, 47-24, and holds a 21-9 advantage playing in Philadelphia. Last season, the Quakers broke a four match winning streak for the Big Green, with a 5-4 victory in Hanover, N.H.
SCOUTING HARVARD: As defending national champion and ranked No. 1 to begin the year, the Crimson are 1-2 entering the weekend. After defeating Dartmouth 7-2 to begin the season, Harvard fell at then No. 2 St. Lawrence, 7-2, and was upset on the road by No. 5 Rochester, 5-4. Harvard is led by senior captain Tyler Olson, along with juniors Matt Roberts and Sam Goldberg. Before facing the Quakers on Sunday, the Crimson will face Princeton Saturday afternoon.
THE SERIES WITH HARVARD: In one of Penn’s most challenging Ivy matchups, the Quakers are 2-71 all-time against Harvard, picking up wins in 1969 and 1979. Most recently, Penn tested the Crimson consistently from 2006 through 2010, but have been defeated in the last four matchups, 9-0.
JOLLY ‘OLE ENGLAND: The Penn men’s team enjoyed a challenging training trip to London after Christmas, spending just over a week in the United Kingdom. During this time the team trained at various athletic clubs, even visiting the famed Wimbledon, and visited cultural attractions. To read about the team’s trip, please click here.
LAST TIME OUT AGAINST F&M: Penn came up one match short in its first defeat, falling to No. 12 Franklin & Marshall 5-4, on Dec. 7. The Quakers were unable to capitalize in key moments late in matches, allowing the Diplomats to wrestle away victories in the first three positions on the ladder to claim the victory. Bright spots for Penn were 3-0 victories by junior Liam Quinn in the fifth position, and freshman James Watson in the sixth position. In the eighth position, junior Augie Frank overcame a 2-0 deficit en route to an individual match victory. Freshman Anders Larson also picked up a 3-1 win.
THE FRESHMEN FIVE: Penn’s five freshmen have played in one of the top six positions in every match this season. The classmates have combined for a 21-4 overall mark through Penn’s first five matches– Marwan Mahmoud (3-2), Derek Hsue (4-1), Hayes Murphy (4-1), Anders Larson (5-0), and James Watson (5-0).