The Drexel University women’s squash team came out strong Jan. 27 as they downed close competitor, No. 10 Dartmouth College, 6-3. The victory came as the team’s third win in a row, and upped them to 5-6 for the season.
The game was an important one for the No. 9 Dragons, as they fought to prove their position in the team rankings. Strong play from the middle of the line-up was critical in securing the win on the day. Although sophomore Anna Hughes dropped a tight five-game match at the top spot, positions two through six quickly followed up with victories to put the Dragons solidly in the lead.
Seniors Hayley Hughes and Ryan Morgan swept their respective opponents at No. 2 and No. 3 to set the tone for the day. Freshman Hannah Blatt joined the action at No. 4 with a quick take-down of Brynn Bank in three games: 13-11, 11-6, 13-11.
A five-game battle at No. 5 saw freshman Ona Prokes emerge with the Dragon’s fourth win of the day: 13-11, 10-12, 7-11, 11-7, 14-12. Junior Fiona Power wasted no time in bringing it home for the team at No. 6 with a sweep of Julia Potter: 11-8, 11-9, 11-9.
Not done for the weekend, the women then lined up against No. 2 Harvard University Jan. 28. A tough day in Cambridge, Massachusetts, saw the team fall in a 0-9 sweep to the Crimson. This result took the Dragons to 5-7 on the season, while Harvard progressed to a perfect 7-0 record.
Despite spirited performances, the team could not cope with the firepower of the previously top-ranked team that are strong contenders for the national title this year. The Dragons returned to action at home Jan. 31 against No. 8 Cornell University.. Unfortunately, the Dragons fell 9-0 to Cornell, but will look ahead to their match against George Washington University Feb. 9.
The men’s squash team also had a busy weekend, starting with a match against No. 7 Dartmouth in New Hampshire Jan. 27. Their three-game winning streak came to an end as they dropped the competition 8-1, and fell to 5-7 on the season.
The top of the ladder fought to take a lead, but ultimately couldn’t outlast the Big Green. Playing at No. 1, sophomore Lucas Rousselet took the first two games but couldn’t hold out as Alvin Heumann came back in the 7-11, 13-15, 11-6, 11-9, 11-8 win. Bransten Ming put in work to bring home the Dragons’ only win of the day at No. 3 in five games over Matthew Giegerich.
The comeback fell short though, as No. 4 freshman Dylan Kachur dropped a close-fought game against Toby Harding: 11-7, 11-9, 7-11, 4-11, 11-8. At No. 9, sophomore Mostafa Abouel Makarim managed to steal a game from opponent, Brian Giegerich, but ultimately fell in four games.
The team’s second match of the weekend saw them come against a dominant No. 3 Harvard line-up. Playing away in Cambridge, the Dragons were caught in a 9-0 sweep by the Crimson Jan. 29, pulling them to 5-8 on the season.
A similar situation to the women, the Dragons had an uphill battle against the Harvard team that is set to compete for the national title this year. Battling injuries at the lower half of the line-up, the team only managed to secure two games in any of the matches on the day, despite incredible work ethic from the boys.
Ming fought to take the second game of his match against Sean Hughes at No. 3 but dropped a third-game tiebreak and then the match: 11-9, 9-11, 13-11, 11-8. Junior Joshua Hughes, playing at No. 6, similarly took his second game but fell in four games: 11-9, 5-11, 11-5, 11-7.
The men’s team played No. 15 Cornell as well Jan. 31 at the Kline & Specter Squash Center and dominated in all matches 9-0 to secure the win.
The men and women will host George Washington University at the Kline & Specter Squash Center Feb. 9 at 5:30 p.m.