PHILADELPHIA - For the second time in five days, men's squash had a top-eight team on the ropes, but just could not deliver the fifth win necessary to pull off the upset. The Quakers had a 3-2 lead after five matches had completed play, but Franklin & Marshall took three of the last four matches on the court to hold off Penn, 5-4.
Playing with a five-court system, the men's match still took just over three hours to complete. The match was every bit as close as the final score indicated. The two teams played a total of 11 tiebreak games inside the top-nine. There were just two 3-0 wins on the night as four matches went four games, while three matches went the full five games.
The Diplomats jumped out to an early lead with a win at No. 4. Co-captain Trevor McGuinness took the first game of his match, 11-5, but his opponent would answer with three straight game wins. Michael Mutscheller (No. 8) would tied the team score at one-all for the Quakers with his four-game win. After dropping a tiebreak, 13-11, the freshman distanced himself from his opponent with 11-2 and 11-6 wins, before closing the match with an 11-9 fourth game win.
In a highly emotional rematch from a season ago, Dan Greenberg found himself down a game after one at No. 2, but gutted out an 11-8 win in the second. However, his opponent would then counter his response with two games of his own for the four-game win. The Diplomats looked to take a 3-1 lead after the even matches had finished play, but Derek Chilvers rallied from 2-1 down, tying his match at two-all with an 11-8 win in the fourth. He capped the comeback with a 12-10 tiebreak win in the fifth as the two squads were now deadlocked with five matches to play.
Freshman Jack Maine made quick work of his match No. 9, taking all three games. After a pair of 11-8 games to jump out to the 2-0 lead, Maine closed out his match with an 11-6 win in the third and final game. However, Franklin & Marshall would respond with a 3-0 match of their own at No. 3. Daniel Judd forced a tiebreak in the second and third games, but his opponent would come away with both games.
With the score then tied at three-all, the Diplomats pulled out a five-game and four-game match to clinch the team win. At No. 7, Justin Ang dropped took the second and fourth games, but dropped tiebreak games in the first and third. The fifth game also went down to the wire, before Ang's opponent came away with the 11-8 win in the decisive game.
At No. 5, John Dudzik needed a win to keep Penn's chances alive. After he also lost a tiebreak to start the match, he would split the second and third games. In the fourth game, his opponent took the second tiebreak game of the match, 12-10, clinching the team victory.
In the final match to finish up play, senior captain Thomas Mattsson gave Penn its fourth win of the evening. Mattsson jumped out to the early 2-0 lead with 11-8 and 11-3 wins in the first two games. His opponent would not go away quietly though as he took tiebreak games in the third and fourth. With the match knotted at two-all, Mattsson would not let this match slip away, taking the final game, 11-9, and avenging one of his losses from a season ago.
After completing the three matches in six days, men's squash will be off until next Sunday, January 29, when the squad travels to Trinity.
Franklin & Marshall 5, Penn 4
No. 1: Thomas Mattsson (P) def. Gabriel de Melo (F&M) (3-2), 11-8, 11-3, 10-12, 11-13, 11-9
No. 2: Guilherme de Melo (F&M) def. Dan Greenberg (P) (3-1), 11-7, 8-11, 11-6, 11-5
No. 3: Mauricio Sedano (F&M) def. Daniel Judd (P) (3-0), 11-6, 13-11, 12-10
No. 4: Alexander Arjoon (F&M) def. Trevor McGuinness (P) (3-1), 5-11, 11-6, 11-6, 11-5
No. 5: Ryan Mullaney (F&M) def. John Dudzik (P) (3-1), 12-10, 7-11, 11-4, 14-12
No. 6: Derek Chilvers (P) def. Charles Cutler (F&M) (3-2), 11-9, 8-11, 11-13, 11-8, 12-10
No. 7: Aadit Zaveri (F&M) def. Justin Ang (P) (3-2), 12-10, 8-11, 12-10, 5-11, 11-8
No. 8: Michael Mutscheller (P) def. Freddy Hernandez (F&M) (3-1), 11-13, 11-2, 11-6, 11-9
No. 9: Jack Maine (P) def. Brian Henry (F&M) (3-0), 11-8, 11-8, 11-6
No. 10: Adnan Abdulhusein (F&M) def. Oscar Mattsson (P) (3-0), 12-10, 11-4, 11-4