PHILADELPHIA - Making its third straight appearance at the Potter Cup, the University of Pennsylvania men's squash team has had a monumental 2015-16 campaign, despite a rough ending to the regular season.
The Quakers will compete in the three-day tournament at Yale from Friday to Sunday and compete for the National Championship against the other seven top teams in the the CSA.
Penn will face No. 4 Rochester in its opening match. The Quakers defeated the YellowJackets back in December as part of a 6-0 start to the season that vaulted them to the No. 2 spot in the rankings.
POTTER CUP COMPETITORS: Coming off last year's championship season, Trinity will enter the Potter Cup as the No. 1 seed. The Bantams lost just one match all season, a 5-4 defeat at the hands of St. Lawrence.
The hosts hold the No. 2 spot at the CSA Team Championships. Yale posted a 12-2 record, going a perfect 7-0 in the Accient Eight to earn the Ivy League title.
St. Lawrence will come in as the No. 3 seed. The Saints went 14-2 during the regular season and are riding a nine-match winning-streak, with the latest matching coming over No. 1 Trinity.
At No. 4 is Penn's opponent in the first round, the Rochester YellowJackets. Rochester is 10-3 with losses to Penn, Trinity, and St. Lawrence.
Playing its best squash of the season is No. 6 Harvard. The Crimson started the year 2-4, but finished 5-5, with their only loss after the tough start coming to Yale in their season-finale.
Holding the No. 7 spot is the Big Green of Dartmouth. The Big Green made their presence known in their season-opening win over No. 2 Harvard and went on to finish the season 9-4.
Finalizing the top eight is Columbia. The Lions needed a good showing over the last two weeks of the year and they certainly showed they belong in the Potter Cup with wins over Penn, Dartmouth, and Princeton.
PENN'S 2015 POTTER CUP: Heading into the College Squash Association Team National Championships ranked eighth in the country, Penn improved its final positioning, finishing No. 7 overall after splitting a pair of weekend matches.
The seventh place finish in the country was the Quakers best since the 2008-09 season, when they also finished seventh in the top-flight Potter Cup.
Penn (9-8) fell to Yale on Saturday, 5-4, before defeating Franklin & Marshall, 6-3, on Sunday in its final match of the season.
THE LONG AND WINDING ROAD TO THE POTTER CUP: It's been a wild ride for the Quakers during the 2015-16 season. Penn started the year 6-0, upsetting the No. 3 and 4 teams in the country before winter break. The Red and Blue would drop two of its next three matches with tough losses to Harvard and Trinity, but bounced back with convincing wins over Princeton and Brown. The season met an unfortunate end with a three-match losing streak, but the Quakers still hold the No. 5 spot heading into the Potter Cup.
THE FUTURE IS BRIGHT: With only three seniors, Penn is setup to be in great shape going into the next several years. Underclassmen Marwan Mahmoud, Hayes Murphy, Karim Hussein, Derek Hsue, Anders Larson, Max Reed, James Watson, and Jonathan Zeitels have all made significant contributions during the season and are poised for a special two years to come.