PHILADELPHIA – After splitting a pair of Ivy League matches over the weekend, the 11th ranked University of Pennsylvania men’s squash team face a challenging test Wednesday evening, in No. 2 Trinity.
Penn (5-2, 1-1 Ivy), played well in its 7-2 victory over No. 8 Dartmouth, and in its match against No. 5 Harvard despite the defeat. The Quakers picked up their second straight victory over the Big Green, after losing four straight previously, and played their most competitive match in over five years against the Crimson.
The Penn and Trinity (8-0) men’s match will begin at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, inside the Ringe Squash Courts, preceded by the women’s match at 4 p.m.
SCOUTING TRINITY: The Bantams have yet to be challenged this season with seven victories, their closest match coming at 7-2. Trinity and Penn have played four common opponents thus far, each school going 4-0 against those teams (Bates, Bowdoin, Dartmouth, and Navy). Trinity returns eight of nine players that defeated Penn last year, 9-0, led by seniors Miled Zarazua, Karan Malik, Vrishab Kotian, and Elroy Leong.
THE SERIES WITH TRINITY: Penn trails in the overall series with Trinity, 7-22. The Quakers are 2-8 all-time at home against the Bantams, and have not won a match since 1996, when they won 6-3 in the regular season and 5-4 in the Potter Cup.
BATTLING THE BIG GREEN: Despite a 7-2 final tally, Penn’s victory over Dartmouth was anything but easy, as the Quakers won three individual matches against Dartmouth in a fifth game. Junior Augie Frank won a back-and-forth match, while freshmen Derek Hsue and James Watson had to rally after trailing, 2-1.
BEGINNING OF MORE?: In the past four matches against Harvard, Penn had failed to take an individual match, but was able to wrangle two this season. Freshmen Marwan Mahmoud and Anders Larson each won their individual matches – 3-2 and 3-1 respectively. Also in defeat, freshman Hayes Murphy pushed his match to a fifth game, while junior Augie Frank played four games against his opponent.
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 26-9 overall mark through Penn’s first seven matches – Marwan Mahmoud (5-2), Derek Hsue (5-2), Hayes Murphy (4-3), Anders Larson (6-1), and James Watson (6-1).