PHILADELPHIA – In what University of Pennsylvania Head Coach Jack Wyant calls, “ the most talented class that I’m aware of in the last 10 years here,” the Quakers men’s squashprogram welcomes five freshman, while the women’s squash program adds four freshman and one transfer to the program.
The incoming class has an international flair to it, with newcomers coming to Penn from Egypt, France and Ontario, Canada, along with players coming from Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania.
The incoming women will bolster a Quakers team that finished fourth in the country and second in the Ivy League with an 11-4 overall record, and 6-1 Ivy mark.
The men will continue to help push the program forward after a return to the College Squash Association Potter Cup, finishing eighth in the country, with an 8-7 overall record and 4-3 Ivy mark.
Hometown: Alexandria, Egypt
High School: Pioneers International School
In 2014, finished in first place, in the U-19 Egypt National League … Finished in first place in the U-17 Jordan Arab League in 2013 … Was first place in the U-17 Kuwait Arab League in 2012.
Coach Wyant says … “Marwan is a top-eight junior player. In addition to his expertise as a player, his personality will fit in and enhance the men’s team roster.”
Hometown: Warren, N.J.
High School: The Pingry School
Lettered four years in squash … Served as team captain … Helped lead Pingry School to its highest finish in school history with an eighth place finish at the 2014 national high school championship … Finished No. 1 in the country individually in U-15 in 2011, U-17 in 2013, and U-19 in 2014 … Won the United State U-17 Boys National Championship in 2013 … Finished 11th at the British U-17 Junior Open the same year … Was a finalist in the United States U-19 Boys National Championships in 2014 … Representative for the United States Junior National team at the 2014 World Junior Championships in Namibia … U.S. Squash DeRoy Sportsmanship Award recipient … Three-time Pingry School squash MVP … U.S. Squash Scholar Athlete … Pingry School AP Scholar and Year End Honor Roll.
Coach Wyant says … “Derek comes to us with an incredible resume. He is very calm, but focused on court, and is somewhat of a late bloomer, whose best squash is in front of him.”
Hometown: Brooklyn, N.Y.
High School: Saint Ann’s School
In 2012, won the U-17 Boys National Championship … That same year, finished as a semi-finalist in the U-17 United State Open … Was the 2014 West Coast JCT champion … Former nationally ranked chess player, who finished in third place in the U.S. Chess National Championships … Served as concertmaster for the Saint Ann’s Orchestra.
Coach Wyant says … “Anders is physically and mentally a very strong individual who is going to be an incredible collegiate squash player.”
Hometown: Greenwich, Conn.
High School: Brunswick School
Lettered in squash five years, lacrosse three years, and soccer one year … Served as team captain in squash his senior season … Helped lead Brunswick to the No. 1 ranking in the country in 2012-13 … Finished second as a team in the high school national championship in 2013-14 … Four-time New England Intercollegiate Champions (2010, 2012, 2013, 2014) … Won the United States U-19 individual national championship (2014) … Earned individual All-American honors in 2013-14 … Played on the U.S. Junior National Team in 2013 … U.S. Squash Scholar Athlete … In lacrosse, tied for first-place at the Western New England Championships (2014) … Earned Brunswick’s Jenkins Award who has been judged to hold true to the ideals of the school, and has made an outstanding contribution to the school in athletics Brunswick School Honors.
Coach Wyant says … “Hayes is a multiple time national champion that we expect to play at or near top of our ladder. We believe he has the potential to be an All-American type of player while at Penn.”
Hometown: Darien, Conn.
High School: St. Luke’s School
Lettered in squash five years, and golf two … Served as team captain on squash and golf teams … In 2013, helped lead the U.S. Junior Team to a 21-3 record in the Ontario/American Challenge … Led team to a 4-0 record in the 2010-11 High School Division III Nationals … Went 12-0 in New England Division II individuals in 2010-11 … Four-time U.S. Squash Scholar Athlete (2011-14) … All-FAA -Fairchester Athletic Association in 2012, 2013, and 2014 … St. Luke’s Global Scholar and four-year Honor Roll.
Coach Wyant says … “James is a player with excellent technique, who has recently shot up the junior rankings the past few years. He loves the game and trains incredibly hard.”
Hometown: Kourou, French Guiana
High School: Miss Porter’s School (Farmington, Conn.)
Helped lead Miss Porter’s to a 14th-place finish in Division A in the U.S. high school team championship in 2014 … Was on the honor roll in 2013-14 at Miss Porter’s.
Coach Wyant says … “Melissa is a former French national champion, with loads of international experience. She bring a lot of personality and a lot of game to the woman’s team, and should be an All-American performer.”
Hometown: Toronto, Ontario
High School: St. Clements School
Played club squash, while lettering and serving as a team captain in soccer … Finished in third place at the U-19 Canadian Nationals … Recipient of the Provincial and National Sportsmanship and Fair Play awards … St. Clements honor roll (2011-14).
Coach Wyant says … “Ali is a super athlete who is very active on court. She’s a real competitor and fighter while playing, and we expect her to win a lot of matches during her time here.”
Hometown: Nimes, France
High School: Lycee St. Stanislas
Member of the U-19 French National Junior Team since 2011 … Winner of the U-19 International French Junior Open in 2014 … Also in 2014, was runner-up in the U-19 European Junior Championships … Was the 2013 U-19 French Junior Champion.
Coach Wyant says … “Marie is another former French champion, who is an incredibly bright kid that is very fiery on court. She has the potential to be a four year All-American.”
Grace van Arkel
Hometown: Haverford, Pa.
High School/College: Episcopal Academy/Columbia
As a freshman at Columbia in 2013, Van Arkel helped lead the Lions to an 8-7 mark as a team. Individually, she went 8-7 overall, playing all but one match in the No. 2 position on the ladder and winner her only match at the No. 1 position.
Coach Wyant says … “I’m very pleased to welcome Grace to Penn. She is a local player coming to us from Columbia where she played No. 2 for the Lions as a freshman. We are thrilled to have her as an addition to the women’s team.”