In their opening weekend of play, the University of Pennsylvania teams sent a message that they will be forces to be reckoned with this season. Penn opened the weekend on Saturday with 9-0 men’s and women’s victories at home over Franklin & Marshall, and brought that confidence into their Sunday showdown against Philadelphia rival Drexel.
The No. 2-ranked Penn women came away with a 7-2 win over No. 9 Drexel, led by a dominant 3-0 performance from 2017 Intercollegiate Individuals finalist Reeham Sedky at the top position over Drexel freshman Mariam Kamal. The No. 5 Penn men topped No. 7 Drexel 8-1, losing only six games in the overall team match. The scoreline, however, did not reflect how hard-fought the match actually was, according to Penn men’s coach Gilly Lane: “We were relieved to walk away with the win—they are a very tough team. It was a great match for both teams; I thought the sportsmanship and competitiveness were at an all-time high.”
The matches were part of a novel format where four Pennsylvania-based colleges—Penn, Drexel, F&M, and Dickinson—played in a tournament-style draw with the winners of the first round playing in a ‘final’ and the other two teams playing each other for third place. The eight teams (four each men’s and women’s) joined each other for dinner on Saturday, fostering camaraderie by sitting with others from their equivalent lineup positions instead of with their own teams.
Franklin & Marshall and Dickinson played two extremely tight matches as a part of the tournament, with the Dickinson women and the Franklin & Marshall men each winning their respective matches 5-4. The Dickinson women were led by strong performances from the lower portion of their lineup, winning the number 7-9 matches each 3-0. The Franklin & Marshall men also relied on the bottom half of their team, where they swept the final four positions, including an 11-9 fifth-game victory for Kingman Bassett over Vincent Warzecha at No. 8, and a 12-10 win in the fifth game by No. 7 Ricardo Machado over Alexander Wattles to clinch the team win.
Three multi-team round robins also took place over the weekend, at the Naval Academy, Bard College and Colgate University. View full college results and upcoming scheduled matches here.