PHILADELPHIA - What a season it's been for the University of Pennsylvania men's squash team. They began the season ranked seventh in the CSA, but currently sit in the No. 2 spot after upset wins over the No. 3 and 4 teams in the country. This weekend, they will finish off the regular season with a match against Columbia at home on Friday evening before heading to Cornell on Sunday.
SCOUTING COLUMBIA: Columbia sits in the No. 8 spot in the CSA rankings with a 5-4 record. Last weekend they played a pair of tough matches with Dartmouth and Harvard, both 5-4 decisions, defeating the Big Green, but falling to the Crimson. The Lions will have plenty to play for this weekend with only the top eight teams making it to the Potter Cup.
THE SERIES WITH COLUMBIA: This will be just the seventh meeting between Penn and Columbia, with the Quakers leading the series, 4-2. After a 5-4 win at home in 2014, Penn dropped a 7-2 decision on the road last season.
LAST TIME OUT WITH COLUMBIA: Looking to make a statement versus the fourth-ranked team in the country, the 10th-ranked University of Pennsylvania men’s squash team fell in a hard-fought match to Columbia, 7-2, Sunday afternoon. Picking up the two individual wins for the Quakers (8-6, 3-4 Ivy) were junior Tyler Odell and sophomore Rahil Fazelbhoy. Playing in the first flight of matches and with Penn trailing 2-0, Odell refused to give in a fiercely competitive match, pulling through with a 3-2 victory. Despite the gritty win by Odell, the Quakers fell behind in the second flight of matches to the Lions (12-2, 6-1 Ivy), with Fazelbhoy completing the days matches with a 3-1 victory.
SCOUTING CORNELL: It's been a tough season for the 12th ranked Big Red who sit at 3-8 on the season, losing their last seven matches after starting 3-1. Cornell will play three times this weekend, making the trip to Princeton on Friday, before heading west to Lancaster, Pa. to face Franklin and Marshall on Saturday. They will then return to Ithaca on Sunday to face the Quakers on their home court.
THE SERIES WITH CORNELL: Penn holds the overall series advantage over Cornell, 44-20, but recently has found little success in the Ivy rivalry. The Big Red have won the seven of the last eight matches against the Quakers. Penn broke an eight year drought against its Ivy rival with an 8-1 win last season at Ringe.
LAST TIME OUT AGAINST CORNELL: Eight years had passed since the University of Pennsylvania men’s squash team defeated Ivy rival Cornell. On a Friday night, needing a win to make a push for the top eight of the College Squash Association rankings and Potter Cup contention, the No. 10 Quakers defeated the seventh-ranked Big Red 8-1 at the Ringe Squash Courts. Penn (8-5, 3-3 Ivy) took control of the match early with strong performances from juniors Augie Frank and Tyler Odell. Following suit were freshmen Hayes Murphy and Derek Hsue in the first flight of matches. Up 4-1, the Quakers picked up the final four matches against Cornell (5-7, 1-5 Ivy) with freshmen Anders Larson winning in five games, and junior Rahil Fazelbhoy winning in four. Freshman James Watson wore down his opponent in a 3-0 victory, before freshman Marwan Mahmoud capped off the overall match with a brilliant display of toughness and technique, winning in five games, 3-2.
JACK'S FIRST CLASS: The class of 2016 will be the first class to leave Penn after being recruited by Head Coach Jack Wyant. In their four years, Liam Quinn, Augie Frank, and Tyler Odell have taken a team that was ranked 11th and made them the second-ranked team in the nation. They completed last season ranked seventh in the CSA, the teams highest finish since 2007-08.
LIAM: From Cambridge, Mass., senior-captain Liam Quinn will complete his time at Penn having competed in the 1-6 spots on the ladder. He had his best winning percentage of his career as a junior, going 4-4 including 2-0 in the No. 4 spot.
AUGIE:A native of Flourtown, Pa., senior-captain Augie Frank competed in the 3-9 positions for Penn over his four years. Frank has gone 2-0 this season competeing in the ninth spot, winning three addition games in the 10th. He went 12-7 last season and finished the year No. 48 in the country.
TYLER: Another Philadelphia-area native, senior-captain Tyler Odell from Newtown Square, Pa. will finish off his career as a Quaker this season having competed as the No. 1, 2, 6-9. Odell has amassed 29 wins in his career, including 12 in the Ivy League, posting a career-high five last season. In a 4-4 match against No. 3 St. Lawrence this season, Odell fought to an 11-7 win in a fifth game to close out back-to-back wins over top-4 opponents.