CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The Ivy League champion and second-ranked University of Pennsylvania women’s squash team began its pursuit of the College Squash Association national championship Friday afternoon, with a 9-0 victory over No. 7 Columbia in the first round of the Howe Cup.
With the victory, Penn (14-1) will face No. 3 Trinity (16-1) in the semifinals on Saturday, after the Bantams defeated sixth-ranked Cornell 9-0, also on Friday. The Quakers and Trinity met in a highly-competitive regular season matchup that saw the Red and Blue fall in the final game of the last individual match, resulting in a 5-4 decision.
In that regular season matchup, Penn picked up individual wins in the third and fourth position – freshman Marie Stephan and sophomore Michelle Wong – along with the eighth and ninth position – freshman Ali Richmond and senior captain Leslie Gill. Playing in the second position, Yan Xin Tan lost in five games, and freshman Melissa Alves fell in five games in the third position. In the sixth position, junior Camille Lanier pushed her match to a fourth game before falling. (Click here for the full recap from Penn and Trinity's earlier matchup).
On Friday, Penn’s ladder made up of Yan Xin Tan, sophomore Anaka Alankamony, Marie Stephan, Melissa Alves, Michelle Wong, Camille Lanier, Ali Richmond, senior captain Leslie Gill, andsophomore Grace van Arkelhad little trouble withColumbia (7-8) with little trouble. The Quakers had also defeated the Lions 9-0 the Sunday prior, capping off their Ivy League championship.
Penn and Trinity matchup for the second time this season in the CSA semifinals this Saturday, beginning at 1:30 p.m. at Harvard, and shown live on the Ivy League Digital Network. For more information on Penn in the CSA national championships, please click here.