Click here to watch a video recap of the men's squash trip to London.
LONDON– Headed off to London over winter break for a training trip, the University of Pennsylvania men’s squash team will be keeping a blog of their eight-day trip running from Dec. 28-Jan. 4.
The Quakers will be training at various locations around the city, while taking in cultural attractions. Member of the team will be updating this page with blog entries throughout the trip. You can also follow the men’s and women’s teams on Twitter – @PennSquash.
Men's Squash Blog - London
Penn Men's squash awoke a little more groggy than usual, but it must have been because the team was down on the fact that it was our last day in London.
The team traveled - as a whole this time - to Lansdowne club for one final match. After once again a very exquisite and cultured pregame meal at Chipotle, we made our way to Lansdowne.
The match began with our fearless leader William Michele took on Lansdowne's first player and demonstrated his hard work over the trip and won 3-0. Next was Marwan Mahmoud taking on the head pro at Lansdowne, Tim. In a very even match, Tim was able to take down the strong attack of Marwan 3-2, including a 11-7 fifth game.
The next match was Hayes Murphyplaying against a college squash legend, Gustav Detter, the former #1 at Trinity and the only man to ever beat College Squash great Yasser El Hallaby in a match that preserved the Trinity winning streak in 2005, which eventually ended 7 years laters. Hayes lost the first 11-9, and had game ballat 10-9in the second, but after a close call that Hayes was on the other side of, he lost 12-10 and then 11-7 in a very tight match.
Other players from the day were Tyler Odell, James Watson, Derek Hsue, Anders Larson, and myself. We unfortunately were unable to come out on top and lost overall by a very tight 5-3 score. Although, one can imagine that if Lansdowne had more players we could've taken the matches with our other players who didn't play.
Afterwards, the team headed to an Italian restaurant for a celebratory meal. Most of the team went back to the hotel after to relax and hang out in the rooms and reflect on the trip and pack for the airport the next day.
We had some incredibly tough matches while we were here against players that play an entirely different brand of squash. It required us to think differently about the game and learn new things about our own games. England has benefited us as players tremendously on the court, and as a team off the court. While we are sad to say goodbye to London, we can't be more excited for what awaits us at home: Dartmouth and Harvard. See youJanuary 10th!
-George Lemmon '17
Starting off 2015 was a trip to Loftus Road stadium for the Queen's Park Rangers FC match against Swansea.The trip was fairly brief but freshman James Watson found time to catch up on some much needed sleep from the night before.
Near the stadium the team got some food at a local Lebanese restaurant - a nice variation from the traditional British pub food. Sophomore Rahil Fazelbhoy particularly enjoyed the various dishes brought out and repeatedly asked for more!
We arrived at the stadium and had excellent seats a few rows behind the away side goal. The match was very exciting with QPR going up 1-0 before the half. The second half brought a lot of excitement, bringing freshman Marwan Mahmoud to his feet in applause numerous times. A Swansea player was sent off following a scuffle outside QPR's box, but the team quickly recovered with an equalizer in added time. Die-hard Swansea fan junior Liam Quinn was ecstatic with the result.
The rest of the evening involved venturing back to South Wimbledon and grabbing some food at one of the local eateries. Jack Maine, particularly famished from a long day of walking, helped himself to three slices of stuffed crust pizza and some ice cream. Overall, a great start to 2015, and an excellent job by the coaches for organizing seating for the match!
-Will Michele '15
Today the Pennsylvania Men's Squash team had the privilege of playing at the St. George's Hill Lawn Tennis Club where we found excellent competition. The club featured an exquisite glass court, where our top four players (plus coach Jack Wyant), had the opportunity to compete.
Among our prestigious competitors were former professional tour players Danny Lee and Dominique Lloyd Walker. Although not in their peak form, the former stars gave a couple of our young players some good experience as we head into the heart of our Ivy League schedule come mid-January. Big Jack Wyant and assistant coach Ricky Dodd both got some match play in as well, our esteemed leaders both took down their opponents.
Ultimately the team prevailed, winning the match against St. George's 10-7. After the match, our hosts treated us to a nice meal, where we were able to converse about the matches, and learn more about the lifestyle of an 18-22 year old English male.
After returning to the hotel and getting some much needed R&R, the coaches treated us to an excellent dinner at a local restaurant in Wimbledon. To top off a great day and perfect meal, the Penn Men's team went to a local spot to welcome in the new year as a team.
The day was again filled with great memories, and we both can't wait to go to the English Premier League matchup of QPR (Queens Park Rangers) versus Swansea on New Year's Day!
-Jack Maine '15and Mike Mutscheller '15
We started our day out having a light hit at the Wimbledon courts tuning up for our match against the members later that afternoon. After getting a good sweat we tried the local cuisine at “Chipotle."
From there, we began our hike to The All England Lawn Tennis Club, where we got to know the ins and outs of the Wimbledon. Our tour guide was a spunky old British woman named Heather who knew the place like the back of her hand, and gave us access to centre court and the impressive Wimbledon museum. Our senior teammate Will Michele aggressively advised our entire team to like a picture on Instagram we took in one of the player interview rooms. In the end, Will was satisfied with the overall tally, racking up a solid 60 likes. The classic centre court at Wimbledon was impressive and surprisingly small, giving every seat in the stadium an unbelievable view. After the tour, we began our trek back to the courts to take on Wimbledon's team.
Penn men’s squash had much success against the club. The Wimbledon team challenged our top four players, however could not handle our depth in the lower seeds. After our match we hit the showers and got ready for dinner at the club. The food was fantastic and everyone seemed content with their performance on the day. Jet lag seemed to kick in as freshman Marwan Mahmoud went missing and was found asleep on the couch per usual.
During our meal, we were researching the Queen Park Rangers New Year's Day opponent Swansea. They were swept aside by the mighty Liverpool Football Club. I'm sure they will play better with our presence in stands Thursday.
Morale was high at the end of the day as we took the double decker bus back to the hotel where we all gathered in junior Augie Frank’s room, attempting to stay up until a reasonable hour for bedtime.
-Hayes Murphy '18 and Marwan Mahmoud '18
It was an exciting day for Penn Men's Squash. It was the first day in London and, despite the redeye flight, we all managed to overcome our exhaustion and have a successful training session at the Wimbledon Racquets and Fitness courts.
First, we checked into the hotel and dropped off our bags and after picking up lunch at a supermarket near the hotel, we took a regional double decker bus directly to the Wimbledon squash courts. After a good hit, we ate a much-deserved dinner at Nando's. At the hotel we caught up on sleep and successfully adjusted to the time change by staying awake throughout the day.
We look forward to playing more matches in the coming days against different players from different clubs! It will be very educational to play new players with different styles. We are all extremely excited and grateful to be here and look forward to working hard, improving, and making the most out of our trip.
-Anders Larson '18 and Benton Turner '17
Penn Men’s Squash has officially kicked off their first international training trip. After not having seen each other for what seemed like the longest two weeks, the team reconvened at Penn to have a quick hit before going to the airport. However, we were without two players – Rahil Fazelbhoy was traveling to London from Mumbai, India and Luke Angelakis was on a plane home from Colorado after a family vacation. Peter Ferraro seemed a little on edge without his trusted sidekick.
After a hit at Ringe, the team showered, packed, and headed to the University City train station. It came as no surprise when someone forgot their passport. It was even less surprising that it was none other than August Frank, the boy genius. However, we avoided a potential catastrophe and made it to the airport on time. TSA thoroughly searched us and couldn’t have been more helpful. Appropriately enough, we said goodbye to Philadelphia with our last supper at Chickie & Pete’s, and then boardedthe plane to go to London!
Most of the team was able to sleep a bit during the flight, and woke up to a bright English morning at 9 a.m. local time. We look forward to a difficult but worthwhile training trip here and can’t wait to get going. “Legs Feed The Wolf”.
-BG Lemmon '17 & Peter Ferraro '17