The men’s squash team (1–0) will be on the road this weekend, facing off against the University of Pennsylvania (1–2, 0–1 Ivy) and Franklin & Marshall (0–2) on Saturday.

Captain Todd Ruth ’10 said the team is confident about its chances against both teams. The Bulldogs defeated the Quakers 8–1 in December of last season and breezed past the Diplomats, 9–0, during the Yale Round Robin last January.

The match against Penn is Yale’s Ivy League opener. Throughout this season, the Elis have dedicated themselves to reclaiming the Ivy Title, Ruth said.

“The team has a good shot at the Ivy Title,” he added. “But Princeton will definitely be the favorite.”

The Tigers have held the top spot in the conference for the past three years and finished last season with three of their players in the top 10 of the National College Squash Association’s annual rankings. Yale’s last Ivy League Championship was during the 2005-’06 season and was shared among all members of the Big Three.

Todd said with the help of a talented freshmen class, the Elis are more than ready to win their first outright Ivy Title since 1990.

Though the Elis are the statistical favorites going into their match against the Diplomats, Rusty Feldman ’10 said the team approaches each match as a new challenge that can only be successful if each player is as focused as possible.

F&M, which finished last season ranked No. 12 by the National College Squash Association, lost to Dartmouth, 7–2, in its season opener and was conquered by Penn, 8–1, on Wednesday.

When it comes to a national championship, the Bulldogs are equal parts optimistic and realistic. Trinity College, which boasts the longest winning streak of any intercollegiate sport, with 202 consecutive matches and 11 national championships, is always the team to beat.

“Every year we go in hoping to make a good run at [Trinity],” Sharyar Aziz ’10 said. “We can’t predict how everything will pan out in February but already this year we’re a more talented team than before. This will be one of our better years.”

The Bulldogs face off against Penn at the Ringe Squash Courts on Saturday at 11 a.m. before taking on Franklin & Marshall at the Mayser Center at 5 p.m.