PHILADELPHIA When the Penn women’s squash team traveled to Princeton last season, the young Quakers were ranked No. 1 in the nation. Both Penn and Princeton, then No. 5, were undefeated going into the match, and the Tigers ended up taking a 7-2 decision at Jadwyn Squash Courts on their way to a national championship season. This year, with No. 1 Princeton and No. 2 Penn both coming into the match undefeated again, the Quakers are looking for revenge.
“The team is very excited for the match Wednesday night,” said head coach Jack Wyant. “In a sense, they have been looking forward to this since they lost a heartbreaker to Harvard in the Howe Cup last season which cost them another shot at Princeton.”
The Quakers come into this match 7-0. After three quick victories to open the season, the team traveled to South Africa for 10 days of exhibition matches and sightseeing. A trip that several team members called “the experience of a lifetime,” it gave the team time to bond as a group and exposed them to top international players in the game.
After returning from South Africa, the team has played four matches on the road, including three in 24 hours at Williams, Amherst and Bowdoin. They won all three of those, dropping just one game in the stretch before traveling to Trinity, the No. 5 team in the country.
Facing their toughest test of the season so far, the Quakers went into the unique glass-enclosed blue courts of Trinity and came away with a convincing victory. Penn won 7-2, further solidifying their championship hopes and keeping them perfect as they returned home to face No. 1 Princeton.
“The team is loose,” Wyant said. “The match is at home and I expect that we will have a large crowd backing us.”
Princeton, meanwhile, comes into Wednesday’s match 3-0, earning 9-0 victories over Cornell, Brown and Williams. Earlier this month, the Tigers also took a victory at the Constable/USSRA Tournament to maintain their top ranking.
“We have already faced [top-five teams] Yale and Trinity and beat them both,” Wyant said of his team’s preparation. “Princeton is ranked No. 1. No doubt we will be an underdog on Wednesday, but we know that we have a chance and that is all you can ever ask for.”
The match, the Quakers’ first at home since December 2, will get underway at 7 p.m. at Ringe Courts.