PHIALDELPHIA - The Penn men's tennis team begins its spring break trip on Saturday at UMBC at 11 a.m. From there, the Red and Blue will travel to Florida to play four matches in five days. On the trip, Penn will face Stetson (Mar. 5), Florida Southern (Mar. 7), USF (Mar. 8) and Florida Gulf Coast (Mar. 9).
The Quakers enter spring break with a 4-1 record overall after defeating Buffalo last Saturday at the Levy Tennis Pavilion. Against the Bulls, the Red and Blue swept all three doubles matches for the first time this season, capturing the doubles point for the third straight match. This includes sophomores Ivan Turudic and Nikola Kocovic triumphing 7-5 in a tiebreaker at No. 1 doubles, to improve to 3-0 together this spring.
In singles, the Quakers were solid in the bottom portion of the lineup. At No. 4, senior captain Phil Law cruised to an easy 6-0, 6-1 win. Fellow classmate Jason Lin was victorious at No. 6 singles, beating his Buffalo opponent, 6-4, 6-0. Penn clinched the match with freshman Jeremy Court's 6-3, 6-3 win at No. 5, who leads the team with nine wins overall. Court became the fifth different Quaker to record a win at the No. 5 position, with no one losing yet for the Red and Blue in this slot. In fact, Penn is a combined 9-1 at No. 5 and No. 6 singles.
The Series with UMBC:
Overall series: Penn leads 4-0
First meeting: February 4, 2004, Penn won 6-1
Last meeting: Feb. 26, 2011, Penn won 5-2 at home
-This will be the first time the two teams will play at UMBC.
-Penn and UMBC faced each other for three straight years from 2004-2006 before meeting again last year.
The Retrievers enter spring break with a 4-2 record overall. They had won four matches in a row before falling 1-6 to Old Dominion in their last match. UMBC have four freshmen on the team, but is led by its upperclassmen at the top of the lineup. Cristian Hodel, Joe Adewumi, and Gaulthier Berret are the only members of the team that faced Penn last year. Berret was one of two Retrievers who earned a point for UMBC, defeating Jason Magnes in three sets. Adewumi also found himself in a three-set battle with Law, but Law was able to pull out the 4-6, 7-6(4), 10-8 victory for the Red and Blue.
The Series with Stetson:
It will be the first time Stetson and Penn will compete against each other in dual competition when they meet on Monday over spring break. Currently, Stetson is 4-1 on the season, with its only loss coming to now nationally- ranked No. 47 Arkansas. Senior Maksim Levanovich, a three-time A-Sun All-Tournament Team selection, picked up the sole win for the Hatters in that match at the No. 1 position and has a 4-1 record in singles this spring. Stetson will host Kennesaw State before welcoming Penn on Monday.
The Series with Florida Southern:
Overall series: Penn leads 2-0
First meeting: March 15, 1971, Penn won 9-0 at Florida Southern
Last meeting: Match 14, 2001, Penn won 5-4 at Florida Southern
The Florida Southern Moccasins are currently 2-6 overall heading into spring break. The team was on a six-game losing streak to open the spring campaign, before winning its next two. Sophomore Benoit Paradis leads the team playing at No. 1 singles with six wins overall, including wins in the fall. The matchup with the Quakers on Wednesday marks the first of a 10-game homestand for the Mocs throughout the month of March. Before that, they will be on the road for two matches before coming home to host Penn.
The Series with USF:
Overall series: USF leads 2-0
First meeting: March 3, 1990, USF won 6-3
Last meeting: Match 10, 1997, USF won 6-1 at South Florida
From Florida Southern, the Quakers take a short trip west to Tampa to face USF on Thursday. Entering spring break, USF is 1-7, with five of the matches coming against teams ranked in the top 40 nationally. The Bulls edged out North Florida, 4-3, for its lone win on the season. Senior Yannick Yoshizawa came through in a tight third set tiebreaker at No. 1 singles to complete USF's comeback victory. Yoshizawa was previously named the Big East Tennis Player of the Week at the end of January.
The Series with Florida Gulf Coast:
The Quakers will travel further south into Florida for its last match on the spring break trip next Friday. Penn and Florida Gulf Coast have only met once so far in the history of the two schools. The teams competed against each other back in 2001 (March 11), with Florida Gulf Coast coming out on top 4-3. Currently, the Eagles have a 2-3 record this spring. So far, three players have only one loss in dual competition for Florida Gulf Coast; sophomores Dean Tsamas and Lance Lvovsky lead the team with a 4-1 record and junior Jackson Moore is 3-1.
Results and recaps will be available on PennAthletics.com following each match.