The Drexel University men’s and women’s squash teams took the courts with an impressive showing at the Pioneer Valley Invitational in South Hadley, Massachusetts. The tournament was a three-day event Jan. 16-18.
On the first day of the Invitational, the men and women both recorded victories. The women defeated the Smith College Pioneers in sweeping fashion, 9-0, while the men beat the University of Western Ontario Mustangs 6-3.
The women’s team did not drop a single game in any of their matches and completely swept the Pioneers. The win breaks a six game losing streak.
The men’s team also secured a much-needed win, snapping a seven game losing streak.
Dragons Atticus Kelly, Michael Thompson and Nat Fry fell in their matches in the one, four and seven spots. However, Drexel got six wins from Luke Willemse, Ibrahim Bakir, Cillian Dunne, Mark Kauf, Sebastian Dangond and Joey Gingold. Bakir and Kauf swept their opponents, winning in three games.
The Dragons continued to dominate into the second day of play at the Pioneer Valley Invitational. Drexel did not drop a match and finished the day 4-0.
In the men’s first match, they defeated the Wesleyan University Cardinals 7-2.
Kelly, Bakir, Dunne and Kauf all swept their opponent in three games in the one, three, five and six spots, respectively.
Willemse and Gingold won in four games, and Thompson secured a comeback victory in five games.
The women also defeated the Cardinals in strong fashion, winning 8-1. Elisa Money, Kaitlyn Money, Laura Rahauser, Kiran Vasdevan and Abigail Kaplan all won in three games in the three, four, six, seven, and eight spots respectively.
Ryan Morgan, Mary Fung-A-Fat and Kristine Giltvedt defeated their opponents in four games.
In the second round of play for the day, the men and women swept the Bowdoin College Polar Bears 9-0.
The men secured seven matches in 3-0 sweeps out of the eight matches played, while the women won every game played.
On the third and final day of the Pioneer Valley Invitational, Drexel faced off against Amherst College and won their matches. The men swept the Jeffs 9-0, and the women secured an 8-1 victory.
Kelly, Bakir and Dunne all won their matches in four games. Willemse lost the first two games of his match but rallied to defeat his opponent in five games. Kauf, Fry, Dangond, Gingold and Jachimowicz all swept their opponents in three games in the five through nine spots.
The women swept their opponents in spots one through eight to put up eight wins in the victory over the Jeffs.
Unfortunately, the Dragons could not continue their winning streak and both the men and women fell to the University of Pennsylvania Quakers Jan, 20 at the Kline & Specter Squash Center. The men fell 6-3 and the women lost 9-0 to the No. 10 and No. 1 ranked Quakers, respectively.
Willemse, Thompson and Kauf all won their matches in the two, four and six spots. Kauf defeated his opponent in a 3-0 sweep. However, Drexel could not hold off the Quakers and faced 0-3 sweeps in five of the six individual match losses.
The women fell in all of their matches and were swept in three games in all but one of their individual matches. Vasudevan was able to force four games after winning the first game of her set.
The Dragons return to action on the road this weekend. The women will face William Smith College on Friday, Jan. 23, Cornell University on Saturday Jan. 24, and the University of Rochester on Sunday, Jan. 25. The men play at Cornell on Saturday and at Rochester on Sunday.