There's a first time for everything. This past Wednesday, the women's squash team experienced a first that it did not enjoy, as it lost to Pennsylvania, 5-4.
In the 24-year history of Penn's women's squash program, the Quakers, the nation's top-ranked team, had never defeated Princeton (5-1 overall, 2-1 Ivy League) until last week. Their victory propelled Penn to first place in the Ivy League and an undefeated 6-0 record.
Although Penn's No. 1 position is filled by a freshman, the Quakers boast an experienced team, with seven upperclassmen.
"This is a well-deserved win for our program," Penn head coach Demer Holleran '89 said. Holleran was a four time All-American while playing for Princeton.
The key matchup of the day turned out to be the pair at the No. 5 position, which was the last individual match to finish. The overall match was tied at four, and 24 years of history were on the line.
Quaker Lauren Patrizio led sophomore No. 5 Anna Minkowski, 2-0, when it became clear that their match would determine whether Penn's losing history to Princeton would continue.
Patrizio, an All-American, was playing in only her second match after returning from a knee injury. Her knee did not slow her down in this game, however, as she defeated Minkowski, 9-4, in the third game to finish a 3-0 sweep and give Penn the unprecedented win.
The Tigers started out slowly in team play, falling to a 3-0 deficit before they were able to get on the board. Sophomore No. 6 Emily Eynon gave Princeton its first win of the day. The victory became a family affair for Eynon as she sought to avenge an earlier victory by her sister, Chrissy, Penn's No. 8.
Eynon had been down 2-1 against her opponent, Megan Fuller, but came back to win two straight games and take the match, 3-2.
After Eynon's much-needed victory, junior No. 9 Rebecca Gutner lost to her opponent, 3-0, again dropping the Tigers to a three-match deficit.
Even with this bleak outlook, however, Princeton was able to come back to make it close at the end. Senior No. 3 Blair Irwin and sophomore No. 7 Courtenay Green both swept their opponents, 3-0, and the game was left to the No. 1 and No. 5 positions.
Junior No. 1 Julia Beaver, the defending national champion and two-time All-American, dominated Penn's freshman No. 1 Runa Reta as she cruised to a 3-1 win, which left the overall match tied at four, leaving the No. 5 position to determine the winner.
Earlier in the Intersession break, the No. 3 Tigers had more favorable results when they travelled to Massachusetts to take on Amherst and Williams Jan. 23. They won the matches handily, blanking both teams, 9-0.
Individually, Beaver and junior No. 2 Meredith Quick took part in the Elizabeth Howe Constable Intercollegiate Squash Invi-tational - an event to which the top 16 players in the country were invited - Jan. 28-30 at Jadwin Gym.
Although Beaver was seeded first, she was upset in the semifinals, 3-1, by the No. 3 seed, Trinity's Janine Thompson, who went on to win the invitational. This put Beaver in the consolation match against fellow Tiger Quick. The teammates reaffirmed their standings on the team as Beaver won the match to garner third place in the tournament.
In order to reach the consolation round, Quick had defeated Penn's Katie Patrick in the quarterfinals, avenging her loss from the Jan. 26 match.
The Tigers return to action on Feb. 5, when the Yale Bulldogs will travel to Jadwin to take them on in another important Ivy League matchup.