PHILADELPHIA - With plenty of momentum from the big win over then-No. 72 Harvard last weekend, women's tennis will look to cap off the regular season on a winning note during the home-and-away weekend with Cornell and Columbia. The Quakers will open up the weekend set with a home match against Cornell on Friday at 2 p.m. that will be followed by a trip to Columbia Sunday at noon. Cornell comes into the weekend after also picking up its first win in the league, a 4-3 victory over Brown, last weekend. With so much parity around the league, No. 73 Columbia sits in second place with a 3-2 record in the league.
Friday's match against Cornell will be the final home competition of the season and will serve as Senior Day for Daniela DePaoli. DePaoli has been a member of the team in each of her four seasons at Penn, having racked up 27 wins in singles and 17 more in doubles coming into the weekend. This season she has compiled a career-high nine wins in singles and career-high eight wins in doubles.
She has also competed in multiple ITA Regional draws in both singles and doubles. This past fall, she just missed qualifying for the main draw of the regional tournament, going 1-1 in singles. The senior always seemed to save her best performances in doubles for the home courts. As a junior, DePaoli advanced all the way to the semifinals of the Cissie Leary Invitational doubles draw and backed that up with another trip to quarterfinals this fall. She has been playing No. 4 singles for Penn this spring. In doubles, she has played primarily No. 2 and No. 3, but is unbeaten in her two career matches at No. 1.
Sol Eskenazi has been playing No. 1 singles for Penn. She is 11-2 this spring, 18-4 overall, including a 4-1 record in the Ivy League. She has won eight of her last nine matches with all of those wins coming in straight sets. She will face the only No. 1 player in the Ivy League with a perfect Ivy record Sunday against Columbia's Nicole Bartnik. Stephanie Do comes into this weekend riding the momentum of two consecutive three-set victories last weekend, including her win against Harvard at No. 2 that sealed the team's comeback win. She is now 13-12 overall this season, including a 3-2 record in the Ivy League.
Alex Ion brings a 17-11 record into this weekend. She has gone 7-6 this spring at her primary position of No. 3. Fourteen of her wins this season have come in straight sets, while five of her losses have come in hard-fought three-set matches. She will be in search of her first Ivy League victory this spring. Fellow freshman Srinidhi Raghavan has been playing No. 5 recently. She brings six total victories into play this weekend. She was one of the four singles wins against Harvard this past weekend in the come-from-behind win.
Emma Whitfield played No. 6 in both of the matches this past weekend. She won her three-set match in this position against Harvard, tying the team score at three-all before Penn came all the way back for the win. She brings four total victories into the final weekend of the regular season. Jules Rodin focused on her doubles play this past weekend, but has won three matches this spring when inserted into the singles lineup. All of her wins have been straight-set victories.
Penn swept the doubles point this past weekend against Dartmouth and nearly took the early point in the match against Harvard. At No. 1, Rodin and Eskenazi come into the final weekend of their regular season as the 44th-ranked pairing in the country. They are 9-3 together this spring and have a 3-2 record in Ivy matches. They have three victories over nationally-ranked opponents in the spring.
Ion and Raghavan formed a new pairing last weekend at No. 2. They picked up a 9-7 win against Dartmouth after just being edged out in the Harvard match, 8-6. They have played a total of three matches together this spring. Do and Whitfield have been a constant pairing at No. 3 doubles. They picked up their first Ivy win together with a convincing 8-2 win in the doubles sweep of Dartmouth last weekend. They have three wins together this spring.
Cornell brings two players into Friday's match with 10-plus victories. Ryann Young (No. 2/3) has a team-high 12 victories, while Gabby Sullivan (No. 4) has 10 wins on the year. Sarah O'Neil has won seven matches playing at No. 1 this spring. In doubles, Cornell is 31-18 in team duals. Last season, Penn edged out Cornell, 4-3, on the strength of four singles wins.
Columbia just recently broke into the national rankings after a win against Brown. Nicole Bartnik owns a team-best 12-3 record this spring at No. 1 and is a perfect 5-0 against Ivy League opponents. She won the ITA Northeast Regional singles draw this fall. Bianca Sanon is 12-4 this season, playing all but one her matches at No. 2. In doubles, Columbia has compiled a 27-19 mark this spring. Last season, Penn closed its regular season with a 5-2 win over Columbia.
The series with
Overall: Penn leads, 30-4
At Penn: The Quakers are 15-2
Current streak: These teams have split the last two seasons
Last season: Penn won, 4-3
Last Cornell win: April 18, 2010 at Penn, 6-1
The series with
Overall: Penn leads, 25-2
At Columbia: Penn is 11-2
Current streak: The teams split the last two meetings
Last season: Penn won, 5-2
Last Columbia win: April 16, 2010, 5-2