PHILADELPHIA – The Penn men’s tennis team continues a string of road matches on Saturday as they face the St. John’s Red Storm at the National Tennis Center in Flushing, N.Y. The Red Storm come in at just 2-10 this season, but did defeat the Quakers a year ago.
Penn, as it has throughout the spring, will look for a solid start from its doubles teams. Having abandoned one match earlier in the season, the Quakers have an overall record of 18-17 in doubles. The pairing of Zach Katz and Austin Kaplan has played particularly well, putting together a 3-0 mark at No. 2.
The Quakers have been strong in singles, compiling a winning record at every position on the ladder except for No. 1, where they are 6-6. Vim De Alwis and Ismael Lahlou each have nine wins this spring, while Jeremy Court and Nikola Kocovic have five wins apiece while splitting time at Nos. 1 and 2.
Though a couple familiar faces return for St. John’s, this year’s team is much different than the No. 58 ranked squad that downed Penn in the first-ever match played at the Hamlin Tennis Courts in 2012. Vasko Mladenov and Mike Lampa took home victories in singles for the Red Storm a year ago. This year’s team began the season 0-7 before picking up its first win. Most recently, they were able to hold off Binghamton by a score of 4-3. St. John’s has played four Ivy League opponents already this season, going 0-4 in those matches.
Penn will get its Ivy League campaign underway next weekend as they travel to Princeton to take on the Tigers on March 30. The always-intense rivalry match will get underway at 2 p.m. from the Lenz Tennis Center.
The Series with St. John’s
Overall: Penn leads, 5-2
First Meeting: The Quakers won in 1992, 5-2
Last Meeting: Last year, in the first official matches at the Hamlin Tennis Courts, St. John’s defeated Penn, 5-2
Last Penn Win: The last time these teams met at the home of the Red Storm, Penn took home a 4-3 win in 2011
Notables: Penn won the first four meetings between these schools from 1992-2007 … This is the fourth consecutive year that the programs have met, with St. John’s winning two of the last three matches.