PHILADELPHIA - The Penn women’s squash team starts its 2008-09 season this weekend with three separate matches over the two days. The Quakers will begin the weekend with a match against Cornell on Saturday at 11 a.m. and then Middlebury at 4 p.m. The opening weekend will culminate with Stanford on Sunday at 11 a.m. The Red and Blue are ranked No. 2 in the CSA preseason poll, the same place they finished last season, with nemesis Princeton taking the top spot.
The team is led by senior co-captains Emily Goodwin and Alisha Turner. While Goodwin will be out for the start of the regular season due to injury, Penn has all three of its All-American players back for the season --Kristen Lange (first-team), Sydney Scott (second-team) and Turner (second-team).
Lange, who will most likely play inthe top spot of the ladder, was runner-up at the CSA Individual Championships tournament and finished the season 10-1 overall and 5-1 in the Ivy League. She went 3-0 at Howe Cup, including a match-clinching 3-0 victory at No. 1 against Trinity. Turner and Scott, who played a mix of both the Nos. 2 and 3 positions, will round out the top of the ladder. Turner ended the season with a No. 12 national ranking, while posting an 8-1 overall record. Scott finished the season ranked No. 13 and went 5-4 overall, including 3-0 at the Howe Cup.
Senior Tara Chawla, juniors Britt Hebden and Christina Matthias and sophomore Annie Madeira will make contributions to the middle of the ladder. Chawla finished the season with a No. 23 individual national ranking while going 10-2 overall. Hebden went 9-2 overall, 5-1 in the Ivy League playing primarily at the Nos. 4 and 5 positions, while Matthias posted 10-2 overall record and 4-2 in Ivy play, primarily playing in the No. 6 position. Madeira completed an undefeated regular season with a team-best 12-0 record, primarily from the No. 7 position
Senior Anita Sellers and Allie Friedman will add depth to the ladder. In addition, the Quakers will welcome one new member to the squad in Taylor Booth, a freshman from Brooklyn, N.Y.
First-up for Penn on Saturday is Cornell this is also the Big Red’s first match of the regular season. Cornell is ranked No. 7 in the CSA preseason national poll and last season the Quakers handed the Big Red an 8-1 loss in Ithaca, N.Y. to start of the season.
Following the morning match, Penn will host Middlebury on Saturday afternoon. The Panthers already have one win on their schedule, an 8-1 decision over Hamilton. Middlebury will make stops at Columbia on Friday evening and Haverford Saturday morning before arriving at Ringe Courts.
The Red and Blue will finish opening weekend with a final match on Sunday morning against No. 6 Stanford. Philadelphia is the last stop during Stanford’s east coast road trip which also includes Trinity and Princeton.