PHILADELPHIA - After a playing a tightly contested match in the scrimmage with Temple, it was more of the same theme Wednesday afternoon on the Hamlin Tennis Center courts. Penn (5-6) jumped out to the early lead with the doubles point. However, Temple (7-8) took four singles matches to beat out the home team in the city rivalry match.
Of the six singles matches, four of them went to decisive third sets. Unfortunately for the Quakers, Penn was only able to take one of those four as Temple used the other three to propel themselves to the win.
Playing together at No. 3 doubles, Stephanie Do and Daniela DePaoli won four games against their doubles counterparts, but Temple would claim the third doubles. Despite losing the first doubles match to finish up play, Penn rebounded by taking the last two.
The 55th-ranked pairing of Sol Eskenazi and Jules Rodin found themselves in a tight match at the top pairing. Despite the pressure, Eskenazi and Rodin would pull through to give Penn one of its two doubles wins. Penn's top pairing is now 6-1 when they play together. After clinching the win at No. 1, Daniela DePaoli and Alex Ion would put the final touches on their victory at No. 2 doubles, conceding just three games in their 8-3 win, to give Penn the doubles point. It was the pairing's second win in their first three matches together.
Temple would answer Penn's early lead by taking the first two singles matches to finish up play. Do found herself down a set after a 6-2 first set loss. However, she would turn that score around on her opponent in the second, tying the match at one-all. In the third set, Temple's Alicia Doms would not concede a game. At No. 6, Rodin was also down a set after a 6-2 loss in the opening set. In her match, she would play her opponent much tighter in the second, but ultimately fell, 6-4. This gave Temple a 2-1 lead with four matches to go.
Eskenazi would then answer back for Penn. She also played a 6-2 opening set, but was able to come out on the winning side of that set at No. 1 singles. In the second set, Eskenazi and her opponent were tied at five-all, but Penn's freshman would keep her composure and take the next two games, clinching match point. The win moved her to 7-1 overall this spring at No. 1. She is now 14-3 overall for the year.
Another freshman, Ion, would then put the Quakers up 3-2 with Penn's only three-set win of the evening. Penn's No. 3 allowed just one game in her opening set, but dropped a 6-2 second set. In the decisive third set, Ion would turn the second set score in her favor, winning 6-2, and putting Penn on the brink of victory. That victory moves Ion to 7-1 at No. 3 singles this spring. She is now 17-6 overall.
With No. 4 and No. 5 both on the courts in third sets, both teams needed victories to come out with the match victory. Both DePaoli (No. 4) and Srinidhi Raghavan (No. 5) got off to quick starts in their respective matches, opening up with 6-1 first set wins. In the second sets, Raghavan jumped out in front early, but eventually fell, 7-5. DePaoli dropped her second set, 6-2, and both matches went to the third sets.
In the decisive sets, it was DePaoli that would find herself tied at five-all before her opponent took the final two games to claim victory. Raghavan took two games at No. 5, but would also fall as Temple rallied for the 4-3 team victory by taking the final two matches to finish up play.
The Quakers will now have just over a week to get geared up for the heart of their schedule as Ivy League play begins next weekend. Penn will be on the road for its first three league matches. The first of those matches will be Saturday, March 31 when the team travels to Princeton.
Temple 4, Penn 3
1: #55 Sol Eskenazi/Jules Rodin (P) def. Rebecca Breland/Paola Calderon (T), 8-6
2: Daniela DePaoli/Alex Ion (P) def. Yana Mavrina/Agnese Rozite (T), 8-3
3: Jordan Batey/Alicia Doms (T) def. Stephanie Do/Emma Whitfield (P), 8-4
1: Sol Eskenazi (P) def. Yana Mavrina (T), 6-2, 7-5
2: Alicia Doms (T) def. Stephanie Do (P), 6-2, 2-6, 6-0
3: Alex Ion (P) def. Jordan Batey (T), 6-1, 2-6, 6-2
4: Agnese Rozite (T) def. Daniela DePaoli (P), 1-6, 6-2, 7-5
5: Paolo Calderon (T) def. Srinidhi Raghavan (P), 1-6, 7-5, 6-2
6: Maame Ama Osei (T) def. Jules Rodin (P), 6-2, 6-4