PHILADELPHIA The stage is set, the teams are decided, a championship is on the line...well, not quite yet.
Both No. 1 Princeton and No. 2 Penn each still have several Ivy League matches following Wednesday evening’s tilt in Princeton, but in a sport where upsets seldom happen there is a good chance that Wednesday’s winner will be lifting the Ivy League trophy at the end of the season.
Last year, of course, Penn earned the Ivy title with a thrilling 5-4 win over Princeton at the Ringe Courts. In that match the Quakers were down 4-0, but rallied back with five straight wins to seal the victory. The Tigers returned the favor in the Howe Cup final, gaining a 6-3 win on their home courts to earn the national championship title.
Both teams are undefeated thus far in 2008-09, the Red and Blue posting an 8-0 record, while the Tigers are 6-0. The teams have had four similar opponents Stanford, Cornell, Williams and Brown all of which both squads easily disposed of.
While Princeton has been off since Jan. 11 when it played in an invitational, the Quakers have played three matches in that time, including a 5-4 win over No. 3 Trinity last Saturday.
“We were thrilled with the outcome of the match [over Trinity],” said head coach Jack Wyant, who played his collegiate squash at Princeton. “However, we still haven’t played our best match top to bottom, and I believe it’s in us for tomorrow.”
It is unclear what Princeton’s exact ladder will be for the match and who Penn’s players will match up against; however, all signs point to a close battle.
“Every position will be closely contested,” said Wyant.
Junior All-America Sydney Scott added, “It will be a very competitive, tough match, and we are looking to maintain our undefeated season.”