PHILADELPHIA – The Penn women’s tennis team (8-3) plays host to No. 65 Princeton (8-4) at the Hamlin Tennis Center on Saturday at noon for its Ivy League season-opener. The Quakers are fresh off a 7-0 thrashing of Temple last weekend, in which they won all six singles matches and took two of three from the Owls in doubles play.
The Red and Blue enter this weekend’s match on the heels of their best spring start since the 2007 season when they started the year 9-3 and finished as the Ivy League Champions. Penn is led by the No. 32 doubles pair in the country, and No. 1 in the Northeast region, Sol Eskenazi and Sonya Latycheva (9-1) – the two are the top duo in the Ivies as well. They are currently on a six-match win streak.
Additionally, the Quakers have compiled a 24-6 record in doubles play as a team this spring. Also playing well is the third-doubles pair of Stephanie Do and Alex Ion (4-1). The junior and sophomore teamed up for the first time this season on Feb. 23, and have now won their last three completed matches – on March 8 they played a match against Florida Gulf Coast that was abandoned with the score tied at six.
Penn has also compiled a 44-22 overall record in singles play this spring, and is lead by Eskenazi (8-3), Do (8-2) and Latycheva (8-3). The trio has played the top three spots for the Quakers all spring, and have been dominant doing so. Eskenazi has won six of her last seven matches, and after dropping her match at first singles against Maryland on March 16, the reigning Ivy League Rookie of the Year came back to obliterate her opponent last weekend against Temple in straight sets, 6-0, 6-0.
Do has won four of her last five matches and ties Eskenazi for the second best singles record on the team. Latycheva is making a strong push for this season’s Ivy Rookie of the Year award as she is part of the conference’s top doubles team and has compiled the best singles record for the Quakers this spring. The freshman is currently on a six-match win streak, playing the majority of her matches in the third spot.
The Red and Blue trail Princeton, 22-15, in the all-time series and have dropped the last four meetings. They are 7-11 against the Tigers in Philadelphia and in their most recent meeting, Princeton emerged victorious in New Jersey, 6-1. The Tigers are coming off their fourth loss of the spring, a 4-3 marathon defeat at the hands of Loyola Marymount in Los Angeles, Calif. on March 21. Princeton is led by sophomore Lindsay Graff – the 2012 second-team All-Ivy selection is 5-5 at first singles for the Tigers this spring.