PHILADELPHIA - It did not take nearly as long for women's tennis to pick up its second Ivy League victory as it did the first. Penn finished out the regular season with a 5-2 win over Columbia on Sunday and claimed sixth place outright in the Ivy League. The Quakers got two victories in the doubles competition and took four singles matches in the team win. With a young team, Penn should certainly carry a lot of momentum into the offseason.
After an unusual struggle in the doubles competition against Cornell on Friday, Penn regained its confidence in what had been the strength of the team all season long. On senior day, it was only fitting that senior captain Alexa Ely and Connie Hsu would get the Quakers an early victory. The duo's 8-4 victory was their 29th of the season and also capped a perfect 7-0 mark inside of the Ivy League.
At number three, Stephanie Do and Emma Whitfield give their opponents all they could handle, but fell just short, 8-5. With each side having a doubles victory in hand, the doubles point came down the match at number two. Through the first 12 games, Jaime Yapp-Shing and Jules Rodin were locked in six-all match. The number two team for Penn held serve to make the match 7-6 and then broke Columbia's serve taking the 8-6 win and the doubles point for Penn.
With the early lead, Ely got the Quakers their second team point of the day with her win at number two. After winning the first set 6-4, Ely looked to be on her way to victory as she jumped out in front 4-0 in the second set. Columbia would fight back in the match, but Ely would not be denied in her final competition at Penn, prevailing 6-4 and making the team score 2-0 for Penn. She finishes her senior season with 11 victories, three of which came in Ivy matches.
Yapp-Shing put Penn on the brink of victory with her convincing win (6-1, 6-3) at number three. This was Yapp-Shing's 15th win of the season and her second in a row in the Ivy League. Fellow freshman Connie Hsu clinched the match for Penn with her win at number one. Hsu finishes the regular season with 43 wins and is a perfect 20-0 during the spring including 7-0 in the Ivy League.
Columbia picked up its only points of the day at numbers four and five. Two days after tying up the match with Cornell, Do could not replicate that on Sunday and fell 6-3, 6-2. Whitfield also faced a tough match up at number five and came up on the wrong side of the 6-2, 6-1 score.
Lauren Bridges would end the regular season on a positive note for Penn with her win at number six. After taking the first set 6-3, the second did not come nearly as easily for the freshman. Up by one set, her opponent jumped out to a 4-1 lead in the second. She would regain her composure and go on to force a tiebreak for the set. In the tiebreak, she jumped out to the early 4-0 lead and had double match point at 6-4. Her opponent would still not go down quietly, but Bridges would eventually take the second set in the tiebreak 9-7.
With the win, Penn finishes the season with eight victories, which was double the total from last season. Penn also picked up the first two Ivy wins in the head coaching career of Sanela Kunovac. After celebrating back-to-back Ivy victories, the Quakers will have to see how the individual championship draw works out.
1. Connie Hsu/Alexa Ely (P) def. Bianca Sanon/Natasha Makarova (C), 8-4
2. Jaime Yapp-Shing/ Jules Rodin (P) def. Nicole Bartnik/Ioana Alecsiu (C), 8-6
3. Katarina Kovacevic/Tiana Takenaga (C) def. Stephanie Do/Emma Whitfield (P), 8-5
1. Connie Hsu (P) def. Nicole Bartnik (C), 6-4, 6-2
2. Alexa Ely (P) def. Katarina Kovacevic (C), 6-4, 6-4
3. Jaime Yapp-Shing (P) def. Natasha Makarova (C), 6-1, 6-3
4. Ioana Alecsiu (C) def. Stephanie Do (P), 6-3, 6-2
5. Tiana Takenaga (C) def. Emma Whitfield (P), 6-2, 6-1
6. Lauren Bridges (P) def. Chelsea Davis (C), 6-3, 7-6(7)