This weekend marked the start of the Drexel women’s squash season, with the Dragons facing Penn and Franklin & Marshall in home matches. This year marks the ninth varsity season for Drexel Women’s Squash. The 2019-20 Women’s Squash roster includes five freshman competitors, the new talent creating one-third of the team, and many of the Dragons competing collegiately for the first time were able to secure wins against the competition.
During the Pennsylvania Squash Classic of Nov. 16 and 17, Drexel dominated against the Franklin & Marshall Diplomats, winning 8-1. Franklin & Marshall was the number 19 seed in the Classic. The win pushed Drexel to the Classic Finals, where they faced Penn. In the race for the title of Pennsylvania State Champions, the University of Pennsylvania narrowly earned the victory.
It was the freshmen who dominated against Franklin & Marshall, with players Ciara Richards, Lara Varma and Katerina Cummings sweeping away the Quaker competition. Clearly, the freshman members show great promise for the squash team. Overall, Drexel secured the top six spots on the competition ladder and eight victories in total out of the nine attempted games.
The Quakers, on the other hand, narrowly beat the Dragons, ending the Classic 5-4 against Drexel in the winner’s final. Historically, Penn has been one of the most difficult competitors, with Drexel securing our first win against the Ivy League team last winter after many failed attempts at victory.
Once again, Richards pulled through with a Drexel win, though Cummings fell short on Sunday’s match, losing to Penn in the end but certainly giving them a run for their money. The Quaker win against junior Hannah Blatt tied Drexel and Penn before the final match proved the Quaker victory. Despite the overall loss, the Dragons earned the top two ladder victories after straight games, thanks to the competitive nature and skill of freshman Karina Tyma and sophomore Alina Bushma.
Overall, Drexel had a successful weekend, jumping headfirst into the upcoming season. Drexel remains the No. 7 seed while Penn advances to No. 8, with Franklin & Marshall left in the dust at slot 19.
This weekend, the Dragons compete again, with home games set against Stanford and Colombia on Friday and Saturday respectively, and another match at Princeton on Sunday. The Squash season will continue into late February.
As for the future of Drexel Squash, construction on the Armory is in full swing to transform it into a state-of-the-art National Squash Center, funded by U.S. Squash as a partner. The Specter Squash Center is slated to open in time for the 2020 U.S. Squash Open.