PHILADELPHIA – Fresh off a win over No. 16 Navy, and starting the season 4-0 for just the second time since 2007, the eighth-ranked University of Pennsylvania men’s squash team will face another early season test on Sunday, hosting 12th-ranked Franklin & Marshall at 1 p.m. in Ringe Squash Courts.
With new CSA rankings released on Friday, Penn (4-0) moved up one spot, from No. 8 to No. 9, while Franklin & Marshall (4-2) has fallen five spots from No. 7 to No. 12.
The Quakers have begun the season with four straight wins for the second consecutive season, marking the second time they’ve done so since the 2006-07 team began 7-0.
After starting 3-0, the Diplomats have fallen to Ivy opponents Princeton and Columbia, sandwiched around a win over Dickinson. The Penn match on Sunday will be the second of the weekend for Franklin & Marshall, facing Yale on Saturday before traveling to Philadelphia.
SCOUTING FRANKLIN & MARSHALL: Playing a competitive schedule early, the Diplomat defeats have come in tight contests Princeton (6-3), and Columbia (5-4), along with a close victory against Drexel (5-4). Franklin & Marshall is led at the top its ladder by sophomore Cole Osborne, junior Dylan Cunningham, and senior Alex Arjoon, respectively. The three have gone a combined 5-7 thus far this season in the No. 1-3 positions.
THE SERIES WITH FRANKLIN & MARSHALL: Penn leads the overall series with the Diplomats, 35-11, and holds a 17-5 advantage in home matches. However, Franklin & Marshall has won the past three matchups between the schools – 8-1 in 2013, 5-4 in 2012, and 8-1 in 2010.
THE FRESHMEN FIVE: In the victory over Navy on Wednesday, Penn’s five freshmen played in positions No. 1-5 for the first time this season. All five of them won their individual match, 3-0, and have now combined for a 19-1 overall mark to begin the season – Marwan Mahmoud (3-1), Derek Hsue (4-0), Hayes Murphy (4-0), Anders Larson (4-0), and James Watson (4-0).
ALSO STARTING 4-0: Junior Augie Frank has begun the season with a 4-0 record following a 3-1 victory individually against Navy. Frank is playing in No. 7-8 position this year after going 7-8 a season ago playing primarily at No. 3.
PICKING UP HIS FIRST WIN:Coming offa challenging season in 2013-14 where Tyler Odell was tasked with playing at No. 1 position after playing No. 6-8 as a freshman, the junior picked up his first win of the season in a 3-2 victory versus Navy on Wednesday.
HEADING ACROSS THE POND: After its match against Franklin & Marshall, the Penn men’s squash team will have a long layoff until its next match against Ivy rival Dartmouth on Jan. 10. During that time, the Quakers will head across the Atlantic for a training trip in the United Kingdom that will run from Dec. 27 to Jan. 5.