PHILADELPHIA - The Quakers lost their first points in four matches on Saturday but withstood a strong UMBC effort to grind out a 5-2 victory over the Retrievers at the Levy Tennis Pavilion.
Penn won all three doubles matches for the fourth consecutive match and took four of six singles matches to earn the victory. At No. 1, senior Hicham Laalej and sophomore Mark Milbrandt continued their perfection on the season with an 8-6 win. Freshmen Ivan Turudic and Zach Katz earned an 8-4 win at No. 2 and the duo of freshman Nikola Kocovic and senior Zach Gorn took No. 3, 8-6.
Laalej started singles play off with a straight-set, 6-2, 6-4, victory and Katz gave the Quakers their second singles win at No.6, taking the match, 6-4, 6-4. With the team leading 3-1, it was Kocovic who clinched the win for the Quakers with a dominating forehand to win his third set 6-4. The freshman split his first two sets, 6-2, 3-6.
Junior Phil Law provided Penn's final point with a come-from-behind victory at No. 2 singles. After losing the first set, Law found himself down 5-3, and 40-15 for match point. Law fought back to take the point and even go up 6-5 before Joseph Adewumi came back to tie the set at six. In the tiebreaker, the righty prevailed to send the match to a third set. With the Quakers' victory assured, took the 10-point super tiebreaker 10-8 for his first win at No. 2 this season.
The Red and Blue improve to 8-0, matching last season's start to the season. The Quakers return to action on Mar. 7 against Santa Clara in California.
Order of finish: 3, 1, 6, 4, 5, 2
Hicham Laalej (P) def. Cristan Hodel (U) 6-2, 6-4
Phil Law (P) def. Joseph Adewumi (U) 4-6, 7-6 (4), 10-8
Rasid Winklaar (U) def. Ivan Turudic (P) 6-3, 6-1
Nikola Kocovic (P) def. Adam Duprat (U) 6-2, 3-6, 6-4
Gaulthier Berret (U) def. Jason Magnes (P) 4-6, 6-3, 6-0
Zach Katz (P) def. Mwali Phiri (U) 6-4, 6-4