PHILADELPHIA – The University of Pennsylvania women’s tennis team (8-4, 0-1 Ivy) will be back at the Hamlin Tennis Center this weekend for back-to-back Ivy League matches. The Quakers will meet Brown (6-7) in the Bears Ivy season-opener on Friday in a match scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. On Saturday Penn will be back in action against No. 41 Yale (11-2) at 2 p.m. as well – the Bulldogs will be fresh off their conference-opener at No. 65 Princeton (9-4, 1-0) the day prior.
The Red and Blue leads Brown 24-11 in the all-time series and are 14-4 at home. Penn has won four of its last six matches, dropping the most recent contest, 6-1, at home against the Tigers last weekend. Despite the loss, the Quakers have had their best start since the 2007 season when they last won the Ivies and started 9-3. The Bears enter the match after most recently downing Florida International, 6-1, on March 29. The last time Penn and Brown met was on April 7 of last season in Providence, R.I. – the Quakers fell 5-2.
On Saturday Penn will face the Bulldogs, who are currently the highest ranked Ancient Eight team in the most recent ITA national rankings. The Quakers trail Yale 17-22 in the all-time series but are 11-9 when playing on their home courts. The last time the two teams met was on April 6 of last season in New Haven, Conn. – Penn fell 7-0. Yale has won nine of its last 10 matches and will meet Princeton in New Jersey the day before its contest against the Red and Blue.
Carrying the Quakers to this point in the season has been the consistent play of their top doubles pair. Sol Eskenazi and Sonya Latycheva (10-1, 1-0) are currently ranked No. 32 in the country, with their sole loss coming at the hands of the current No. 5 duo in the nation, Maria Belaya and Jeltje Loomas of No. 46 William & Mary. The Penn pair last met Yale when they faced Elizabeth Epstein and Hanna Yu in the ITA Northeast Regional championship quarterfinals. The Quakers won, 8-6, and would go on to be crowned champions. Epstein is now paired with Annie Sullivan and they have compiled a 4-2 record at first doubles with a 7-2 overall record.