Playing in their final non-league match before beginning Ivy play, the Quakers
looked ready to take on their Ancient Eight foes, toughing out a 4-3 victory
over 70th-ranked St. John's at the National Tennis Center in New York on Friday
After earning the team's best ranking since head coach Nik
DeVore took over, at No. 64, Penn had to be careful against a Red Storm team
which already beat Princeton, Dartmouth and Yale earlier this spring.
It didn't start off well for the Red and Blue as the Quakers
lost the double point by falling at No. 1 and No. 2 doubles by matching 8-6
margins. At No. 3, the duo of freshman Nikola Kocovic and senior Zach Gorn provided
some life, coming back from a 5-1 deficit to earn the 8-6 win.
In singles, a loss at No. 3 put Penn down 2-0 before Kocovic
came through with the team's first point of the day, a 6-3, 6-3 straight-set
win at No. 6 singles. Senior captain Hicham Laalej tied up the score at two
apiece with his ninth straight victory of the spring , winning at No. 1, 7-5,
Junior Phil Law then came through with a clutch straight-set
win at No. 4 singles over Gustov Kallen, 7-6, 6-3 to put the Red and Blue ahead
3-2. Classmate Jason Lin finished off the Red Storm with his own straight-win,
beating Michael Lampa 6-4, 6-2 to clinch the victory.
Penn improves to 10-1 with the win and takes to the court
next week against No. 53 Princeton in the Ivy League opener for both teams. The
Quakers play Saturday, March 26 at 2 p.m. in Princeton.
No. 1 Hicham Laalej (P) def. Asaf Honig
No. 2 Stefan Bojic (SJ) def. Ivan Turudic
No. 3 Milo Hauk (SJ) def. Eugen Brazdil (P) 7-5,6-0
No. 4 Phil Law (P) def. Gustav Kallen
No. 5 Jason Lin (P) def. Michael Lampa
No. 6 Nikola Kocovic (P) def. Matty
Najfeld (SJ) 6-3,6-3
No. 1 Milo Hauk/Gustav Kallen (SJ) def. Zach Katz/ Ivan
Turudic (P) 8-6
No. 2 Stefan Bojic/Michael Lampa (SJ) def. Eugen Brazdil/Hicham Laalej (P) 8-6
No. 3 Nikola Kocovic/Zach Gorn (P) def. Matty Najfeld/Mischa Koran (SJ) 8-6