PHILADELPHIA - After a crucial Ivy League victory to start the season on a high note, women's squash will wrap up the abbreviated 2011 portion of its schedule this Saturday against Williams. The match will start at 11 a.m. and run concurrent to the men's match. Williams (1-3) comes into this weekend's match ranked ninth in the country.
The Quakers (1-0) are riding the momentum of a 6-3 with over Princeton to start the 2011-12 season and find themselves ranked third in the country after the Ivy League win. Each of the top-five positions on Penn's ladder were filled by juniors in the season-opening match, while two sophomores (No. 6 & 8) and two freshmen (No. 7 & 9) rounded out the top-nine.
Three members of the junior class, Rachael Goh (No. 2), Pia Trikha (No. 3), and Yarden Odinak (No. 4), each picked up victories in their first matches of the season. Goh and Odinak, who are each starting out the season in the same slot that they played the majority of their matches a season ago, picked up convincing three game victories against Princeton. Trikha moved up the ladder and played her highest ranked match of her Penn career at No. 3, winning 3-1.
Fellow junior Nabilla Ariffin started out to season with a tough loss against Julie Cerullo, a player she has gone back-and-forth with in recent history. This is the third straight season that Ariffin has played in the No. 1 position for Penn. Stephanie Vogel (No. 5) started out her junior campaign playing the highest ranked match of her Penn career.
Sophomore Courtney Jones (No. 6) avenged her loss in last year's Howe Cup to her opponent from Princeton with a crucial five-game win. Jones played No. 6 in 10 of the 14 team matches last season. Fellow sophomore Chloe Blacker started the season at No. 8, which is the same position she played all but one of her matches during her 10-win season as a freshman.
Two incoming freshmen, Colleen Fehm (No. 7) and Leslie Gill (No. 9), made their collegiate debuts with 3-0 wins in the victory over Princeton to help clinch the match.
Williams comes into this match coming off of two consecutive defeats at the hands of Cornell and Stanford. The weekend slate will be very busy for the Ephs. Prior to playing Penn, Williams will take on Princeton Friday evening and they will have to hit the road quickly after their morning meeting with Penn as the team will then travel to Trinity Saturday night.
Last season, Penn defeated Williams 8-1, taking each of the top-eight matches. In those eight victories, the Quakers did not surrender a game. The match this weekend will be the final competition for Penn before the winter break. When the Quakers return from the break, they will get right back into Ivy League play with their first road matches against Harvard and Dartmouth. Those matches will take place on January 14 and 15 respectively.