PHILADELPHIA - The 61st-ranked men's tennis team continues its Ivy League play this weekend first at Yale on Friday and then at Brown on Saturday. Both matches are scheduled to start at 2 p.m.
The 10-2 Quakers opened up league play last weekend with a 4-3 loss to Princeton. After winning two of three doubles matches to capture the doubles point going into singles, Penn was only able to win two of the six singles matches. Senior captain Hicham Laalej was handed his first lost of the spring season, going down in straight sets,6-3, 6-2. Two freshmen provided the only singles victories for the Red and Blue. Playing at No. 3, Ivan Turudic snapped a personal four-game losing streak to pick up his 10th singles win of the 2010-11 season. Fellow classmate Nikola Kocovic held on to win his match at No. 6 in three sets 6-3, 1-6, 6-1 for his team leading 16th win overall. His victory tied the team score at 3-3 and it all came down to junior Phil Law at No. 4. Unfortunately, Law's comeback fell short and he ultimately came out on the losing end of a 6-4, 4-6, 7-5 score.
Yale enters the matchup with an 8-7 record so far this spring. Last year, the Bulldogs finished with a 5-2 record in the Ivies, tied for second with Cornell and Harvard. One player to be concerned about is sophomore Marc Powers. He was the unanimous Ivy League Rookie of the Year last season, as well as the Ivy Player of the Year and a unanimous first team All-Ivy selection. In addition, fellow classmate Daniel Hoffman has a current nine-game winning streak in singles. The match with Penn will be the Ivy season opener for the Bulldogs.
Last year, Brown went winless in the Ivy League, and the 4-3 win over Brown was the Quakers' lone victory against Ancient Eight opponents. This year, however, the Bears are bolstered by a strong freshmen class, with Brandon Burke leading the way primarily playing at No. 2 singles. Going into the weekend, they have a 13-2 record overall and a six-game winning streak. Brown faces against Princeton on Friday before hosting Penn on Saturday.
Although Brown was ranked as high as No. 62 at the beginning of March, both of Penn's opponents this weekend are currently not nationally ranked in the ITA polls.