PHILADELPHIA - Men's squash opens up its 2011-12 campaign Wednesday night with a cross-campus matchup against Drexel. Play will get underway at 7 p.m. inside the Ringe Squash Courts. Penn will be seeing its first action of the season, but Drexel (4-4) opened its schedule in late October. The Dragons have moved up from No. 43 to No. 29 in the latest CSA rankings while Penn has been idle, holding at the same No. 9 position.
The Quakers return six letterwinners from a season ago that helped lead the team to a tenth-place finish at the CSA Team Championships. Captain Thomas Mattsson returns for his final season after playing each of his first three years in the No. 1 position. Despite battling injuries and constantly facing some of the nation's toughest competition, Mattsson has won 14 matches in his first three years at Penn, including eight in that No. 1 position.
Fellow senior and co-captain Trevor McGuinness also returns after winning a team-high 12 matches last season. He split time between No. 5 and No. 6 and won eight of his last 10 matches to cap off the 2010-11 season, including four straight in the Molly Division of the CSA Individual Championships. Junior Dan Greenberg played all but two of his matches last season at the No. 2 position. He won four matches a season ago and has 11 victories in his first two years at Penn.
Also returning from last year's squash is a trio of sophomores. John Dudzik played his entire freshman season inside the top-nine and compiled eight victories, finishing the season in the No. 8 position of the ladder. Daniel Judd started the year at No. 10, but moved all the way up to No. 7 by the end of the season. He won seven matches as a freshman. Justin Ang finished the year at No. 9, but played as high as No. 6 last year. Like Judd, he also won seven matches in the 2010-11 season.
New to this year's squad are six incoming freshman - Jack Maine, Oscar Mattsson, Cole McCourt, Michael Mutscheller, Hunter Schlacks, and Matt Sheridan. Three members of the incoming class - Oscar (younger brother of Thomas), Maine and McCourt - all come to Penn from local Philadelphia area schools.
The Dragons come into Wednesday's contest having won three of its last five matches. They are currently in their first season of sponsoring squash as a varsity sport. Two of their four wins in the season have come by 9-0 sweeps. Drexel's No. 1 player, Justin Singh, has compiled a team-best 7-1 record. Singh followed first-year head coach John White from Franklin & Marshall to Drexel. He won the match at No. 6 against Penn when the Quakers took on Franklin & Marshall last season.
Eight players, including Singh, have won at least three matches this season for Drexel. Nick DiDonato (4-4 at Nos. 2/3) and Kevin Sacherman (4-3 at Nos. 7-9) are tied for second on the team in wins.
Following the matchup with Drexel, Penn will jump right into Ivy League play with Princeton coming to Philadelphia this Saturday. The men's match will begin at 1 p.m. and be immediately followed by the women's match at 3:30 p.m.