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US Open Returns October 5, 2012

Posted by Sam Angell in Men's Squash, Women's Squash.
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On Thursday, John White competed in the first round of qualifying at the 2012 Delaware Investements U.S. Open Squash Championships. The second-year Drexel head coach put up a strong fight against Colombia’s top-ranked player, Miguel Angel Rodriguez, but ultimately fell to the up-and-coming star, 11-8, 12-10, 12-10. It was a hard-fought, intense match that drew a large crowd of supporters out to cheer on White and while the campus favorite came up just short, the match was a thrilling kickoff to the week at the DAC.


Squash is a game that may be unfamiliar to many Philadelphians, even though the sport has its roots in the United States right here in the City of Brotherly Love. But with a week of world-class squash ahead of us, Drexel Athletics Director Dr. Eric Zillmer gave denizens of Philly an impassioned primer on the sport in today’s Philadelphia Inquirer. With the best players in the world descending upon the DAC this week, the hope is that the message has the stands full all the way through the championship matches next Friday.


Squash is a tough game with simple rules. At the elite level, two competitors are confined to a rectangular glass enclosure. With the semisoft squash ball traveling at speeds up to 170 m.p.h., and with all walls and angles in play, it is mesmerizing to watch.

The athletes perform with a beautiful combination of agility and power. Their footwork is as graceful as ballet, and their stamina rivals that of triathletes. With the struggle for points often lasting 20 to 30 rallies, extreme fitness is the price of admission to world-class squash. The winner, however, is often the player who outfoxes his or her rival.


Zillmer was the emcee last night at a reception held at the Paul Peck Center to kick off the Open. A room full of illustrious guests, representatives of U.S. Squash, and players in the upcoming tournament listened as he and other speakers including University President John Fry welcomed the tournament back to Philadelphia. With last year’s event under their belt and a year to prepare for the 2012 Open, Zillmer and his staff promised an unparalleled atmosphere in the main arena at the DAC for the matches. Tickets still remain for the competition, and Drexel students and faculty are reminded that they can get in for free with a valid Drexel ID. For more information, visit www.usopensquash.com.