PHILADELPHIA – The Penn men’s and women’s squash teams will play host to their third matches of the new year this Saturday when national powerhouse Trinity comes to Philadelphia for a noon matchup at the Ringe Squash Courts.
The fifth-ranked Quakers (6-1, 1-1 Ivy) will welcome No. 4 Trinity (8-0, 4-0 NESCAC), and are looking to make a jump in the Dunlop Women’s College Squash Team Rankings. The rankings have remained unchanged for Penn, which has sat at the No. 5 spot all season. With a victory over the higher-ranked Bantams, a team they haven’t beaten since Feb. 27, 2010, there will be no reason not to bump the Quakers up the rankings.
Although Trinity is unbeaten, its most recent win was a close, 6-3, victory over the same Dartmouth team the Red and Blue ran out of Philadelphia via a 9-0 romp. The toughest test in front of Penn will be at the first position, where presumably Nabilla Ariffin will take on fifth-ranked Catalina Pelaez. The Bantam co-captain has never lost to Ariffin in their three-match history.
Other players to watch will be a trio of successful freshmen in Yan Xin, Haidi Lala, and Camille Lanier. The three rookies have amassed a combined record of 15-1 in their young collegiate careers.
No. 12 Penn (3-5, 0-2) has yet another tough test ahead in the form of second-ranked Trinity (7-0, 4-0) this Saturday. The Quakers are 7-20 all-time against a Bantam team that is coming off a huge, 8-1, win over Dartmouth. Trinity’s only loss against the Big Green was at No. 1 to highly-ranked Christopher Hanson, as it swept the rest of the matches.
The Red and Blue are looking for that season-changing win, and this weekend is as good a chance as any. Trinity has not faced a team ranked higher than No. 8 this season and is not its usual dominant force, which does give Penn – a relatively raw team stocked with lots of young talent – the chance they are looking for.
The player to watch for the Quakers will be freshman Tyler Odell. A dual-athlete in lacrosse and squash at Penn, Odell has been on a tear of late winning his last two matches, and six of eight on the season.