PHILADELPHIA – The University of Pennsylvania men’s tennis team competed on the Hamlin Tennis Courts for one last time this season Friday afternoon, suffering another Ivy loss at the hands of the No. 19 Columbia Lions, 4-0. The Quakers have now dropped four Ivy contests in a row and have one more left to go – the Red and Blue will play No. 52 Cornell on Sunday in the season finale.
Going into the day’s contest, Penn knew Columbia would be a tough opponent as the Lions have only lost one match this season – to then ranked No. 3 Georgia in January – and are perfect in the Leauge, giving up only one point in conference play this season.
The Quakers came out playing hard, hanging tough with the Lions. Both the No. 2 and No. 3 Red and Blue duos -- junior Jeremy Court and senior Zach Katz; sophomores Vim De Alwis and Austin Kaplan, respectively -- held a 5-4 lead. However, Columbia continued to fight and came back to defeat De Alwis and Kaplan, 8-5, and then took the win at No. 1 for the doubles point over senior Nikola Kocovic and freshman Matt Nardella.
Needing four singles points, Penn prepared to continue the fight, trying to be the first Ivy team to take a win from the Lions. The Quakers put out their lineup but struggled to clinch any wins.
Kocovic was first to fall to Columbia at the No. 2 spot, followed by Court at the No. 3 spot, and freshman Marshall Sharp at the No. 6 slot.
The teams did not play out the rest of the matches, as previously agreed upon by the head coaches before the beginning of the contest.
After the final point was won by the Lions, the Red and Blue gathered their belongings and readied to hit the road to New York for their final nonconference match with Binghamton tomorrow at 2 p.m.
No. 1 Narayana/Schnur def. Kocovic/Nardella 8-2
No. 2 Katz/Court vs. Lin/Vermeer DNF: 7-6
No. 3 Pham/Vancura def. De Alwis/Kaplan 8-5
Order of finish: 3, 1
No. 1 Vim De Alwis vs. Lin DNF: 6-7 (5), 1-3
No. 2 Schnur def. Nikola Kocovic 6-3, 6-1
No. 3 Ignat def. Jeremy Court 6-3, 6-4
No. 4 Matt Nardella vs. Vancura DNF: 7-6 (4), 3-4
No. 5 Zach Katz vs. Narayana DNF: 5-7, 4-3
No. 6 Vermeer def. Marshall Sharp 6-4, 7-5
Order of finish: 2, 3, 6