PHILADELPHIA – Fresh off an undefeated Ivy League championship, the University of Pennsylvania women’s squash team heads to Cambridge, Mass. this weekend to play in the College Squash Association Team National Championships taking place at Harvard.
The three-day tournament runs Feb. 13-15, with the second-ranked Quakers (13-1) playing in the top-flight Howe Cup, forthe national championship.
Penn will face No. 7 Columbia (7-7) in the first round of the tournament on Friday at 2:15 p.m. The Quakers last played the Lions this past Sunday, defeating them 9-0, claiming the Ivy League championship.
For information throughout the weekend and frequent updates related to the tournament, visit the CSA websiteby clicking here.
Fans are able to watch the tournament on the Ivy League Digital Network, or can follow the Penn women’s team action on Twitter – @PennSquash.
IVY LEAGUE CHAMPIONS: The Quakers finished off the regular season with a victory, claiming the outright Ivy League championship with a 7-0 record, after defeating Columbia 9-0 this past Sunday. With the win, Penn claimed its third Ivy championship in program history, previously winning in 2000 and 2008. The title is head coach Jack Wyant’s second Ivy League championship with the women’s team. The Penn women’s squash Ivy League championship marks the first team title for new athletic director Grace Calhoun, who took the reins of the Penn athletic department in July of 2014.
PROVIDING THE PUNCH FOR PENN: Eleven players have primarily played in the No. 1-9 positions for Penn this season. Those 11 players have a combined overall record of 118-17 in individual matches. At the top of the ladder all season for the Quakers has been junior Yan Xin Tan and sophomore Anaka Alankamony. In the middle of the order have been freshmen Marie Stephan and Melissa Alves, and sophomore Michelle Wong. Winning critical matches all year long in the six through nine positions have been juniors Camille Lanier and Haidi Lala, freshman Ali Richmond, sophomore Grace van Arkel, senior captain Leslie Gill, and senior Colleen Fehm.
IVY CHAMP TO NATIONALS: It was the third Ivy League championship for the Penn women’s team. How did the Quakers fair in the CSAs in prior years they’ve won the Ivy title? In 2008, the Red and Blue went 6-0 in Ivy play and defeated Stanford, 8-1, in round one of the CSA, and Trinity, 5-4, in the semifinals. Penn fell just short of the national championship falling to Ivy rival Princeton in the title match, 6-3. Looking back 14 years into 2000, Penn again finished 6-0 in league play, and swept its Howe Cup matches winning the national championship. The Quakers defeated Cornell 8-1 in round one before defeating Harvard, 5-4, twice to claim the championship.
QUAKERS LAST YEAR IN THE HOWE CUP: Penn entered last year’s championships as the three seed, defeating Cornell 8-1 in round one. In the semifinals, the Quakers fell to second-ranked Trinity, 6-3. Playing in the 3/4 match versus Yale, Penn was edged 5-4, finishing the season as the fourth team in the country.
THE TOP FOUR SEEDS AT NATIONALS: Joining Penn in the top-four ranked teams in the Howe Cup are No. 1 Harvard (10-1), No. 3 Trinity (15-1), and No. 4 Princeton (10-2). Despite falling to Penn, 5-4, Harvard finished the season ranked first because… From the CSA: In the final week of the regular season, Harvard defeated Trinity, 8-1. This created a ranking triangle because Penn beat Harvard, 5-4, Trinity beat Penn, 5-4, and Harvard beat Trinity, 8-1. Per the CSA’s ranking rules, the individuals matches won in the triangle were totaled, and Harvard regains the top position, followed by Penn and Trinity.
ROUNDING OUT THE TOP-EIGHT: Completing the Howe Cup bracket will be No. 5 Yale (10-4), No. 6 Cornell (9-5), No. 7 Columbia (7-7), and No. 8 George Washington (9-6).
WATCH ON ILDN.TV: Live streaming of select courts (Harvard 1-5 and glass court) is available on the Ivy League Digital Network. The video can be found on the Harvard team page on ILDN. Please note there is a fee to watch on the network.