The Drexel University men’s and women’s squash teams started off their season in the Pennsylvania State Classic where they faced No. 18 Dickinson College Nov. 10 and No. 7 University of Pennsylvania Nov. 11. They started the season ranked No. 11, as the men’s team will look to bounce back from 9-11 finish last season, while the women’s team will look to continue their winning streak, as they finished 11-8 last season.
In their first game of the the weekend against Dickinson, the Dragons dominated in every aspect of the match. Senior Bransten Ming set the pace for the rest of the team as he defeated Abdelrahman Elsergany 11-7, 11-6, 11-6. The dominance continued with freshman Mathias Knudsen, who won over Sergio Martin 11-5, 11-3, 11-7, for his first ever victory. Sophomore Dylan Kachur continued the streak with a strong win over Alex Wathes 11-5, 11-3, 11-8. Freshmen Filip Krueger and Noel Heaton added to the Dragons wins with Krueger winning 11-4, 11-4, 11-7 and Heaton winning 11-5, 11-3, 11-8. Senior Royston Raymond was the first to lose a set in a game, but he managed to win 11-5, 6-11, 11-6, 11-7. Dickinson’s Cory Litman pushed his match to five games against senior Joshua Hughes, but managed to win three games to two. Senior Will Grady was the highlight of the match, earning his first career win against Andrew Strudwick 13-15, 11-9, 12-10, 11-9. Freshman Shaan Dalal and senior Ryan Leslie finished out the competition by defeating their opponents 3-1, leading to Drexel’s 9-0 shutout of Dickinson.
The women’s team had the same results, as they also shut out Dickinson 9-0. Junior Anna Hughes started off the competition with a 3-1 game win over Courtney Trail. Sophomore Hannah Blatt came back from a two-game deficit to win 7-11, 7-11, 11-5, 11-3, 11-8. Both freshman Brooke Herring and sophomore Stephanie Ryan cruised past their opponents with 3-0 wins, with Herring winning 11-7, 11-6, 11-1 and Ryan winning 11-4, 11-3, 11-5. Sophomore Ona Prokes and senior Fiona Power had the same fates for their opponents, destroying them 11-4, 11-3, 11-2 and 11-1, 11-7, 11-3, respectively. The last four Dragons, Senior Apoorva Addepalli, sophomore Emma MacGillivray and freshmen Rose Lawrence and Catie Castelli, finished off the competition with 3-0 wins, putting them on top of the men with more shutout wins.
Both the men’s and women’s teams moved onto Penn the next day, but neither had as much luck with this opponent. The men’s team was defeated 8-1 by the Quakers, with Knudsen getting the only victory of the night. He had a spectacular 3-0 win over David Yacobucci, 11-3, 11-4, 11-5. Raymond won the first game, but failed to do so again for the rest of the four-game matches. Krueger also lost in four-game matches.
The women’s team had a better showing against Penn, but ended up losing 5-4. MacGillivray and Power got the Dragons off to a strong start by winning in straight sets, 11-7, 11-1, 15-13 and 11-3, 11-7, 11-5 respectively. Herring played a very close game against Jamila Tamer and ended up winning 11-3, 12-10, 11-6. Prokes was up 2-1 against Lindsay Stanley, when the competition was tied 4-4, but Stanley came back in the last two games to give Penn the win.
Both the men’s and women’s teams, now 1-1, will move on to host the University of Virginia at the Kline & Specter Squash Center Nov 17. The women will play first at 10 a.m. and the men will follow at 11:30 a.m.