Squash Opens Season in D.C. on Saturday

PHILADELPHIA – After tuning up with the Ivy League Scrimmages last weekend, the Penn squash teams head down to Washington, D.C. for their first regular season competition of the year, Saturday against Bates at 2 p.m. and the host, George Washington, at 6 p.m. All matches will be at the Matthew J. Grossman squash courts.

The men begin 2012-13 ranked No. 9 in the Dunlop College Squash Preseason team rankings and have Potter Cup aspirations after winning the Hoehn Cup last season. They enter this year with their championship squad mostly intact, but lose two impactful pieces. Trevor McGuinness finished last season ranked No. 100 in the nation and former captain Thomas Mattsson was a second-team CSA All-American and earned first-team All-Ivy honors. Stepping up to fill the gap will be this year’s captain, Danny Greenberg, who finished last year ranked No. 60 after advancing to the CSA individual Championship semifinals.

They will begin against a Bates team coming off a second consecutive seventh-place finish in the Hoehn Cup, but are on their way up after adding coveted freshman Ahmed Abdel Khalek. The 2011 US Junior Open champion should play in a top-three spot for Bates. This will be the season opener for the Cougars, who are 0-4 all-time against the Quakers. The Red and Blue topped Bates, 8-1, the last time the two teams met on Feb. 17 at the Hoehn Cup in Princeton, N.J.

Next, the Quakers will match up with a George Washington team whose No. 16 ranking is the highest in program history after last season’s Summers Cup win. The Colonials are 3-0 in 2012-13, beating Georgetown, Kenyon and Hobart, all 9-0, and will face Bates at 11 a.m. Saturday before their match with Penn. The two teams haven’t met since Jan. 15, 2005 when Penn beat George Washington, 9-0, at the Ringe squash courts.

The Penn women are coming into the season ready for big things after they won the Ivy League Scrimmages last weekend and finished fifth in last year’s Howe Cup. The Quakers return their entire starting lineup from last season including tri-captains Nabilla Ariffin, Pia Trikha and Stephanie Vogel, and fellow senior Rachael Goh. Arrifin is a three-time second-team CSA All-American, Goh is a two-time first-team CSA All-American, and Trikha is a two-time second-team CSA All-American.

They will also begin their season against Bates. The No. 12 Cougars return their entire starting lineup as well and are also opening their season Saturday. The last time these two teams met was on Dec. 4, 2010 in New Haven, Conn. The Quakers won the match, 9-0, and are 3-1 all-time against Bates.

Penn then faces a George Washington team that is 1-0 on this young season after a 9-0 win over Georgetown. The Colonials are ranked No. 16 and coming off of a 2011-12 Walker Cup win. The last time these two teams met was Feb. 2, 2008 at the Ringe courts when the Quakers won, 9-0.