PHILADELPHIA - Playing its final home match of the 2011-12 season, women's tennis left the Hamlin Tennis Center courts on a high note, defeating Cornell 5-2, for its second Ivy League win of the season. The Quakers lost a highly competitive doubles point before responding with five singles wins. With the victory, the team matches its Ivy win total from last season with one more match to go this weekend.
Although the Quakers were unable to capture the doubles point with Cornell snagging two of the three wins, it looked as though Penn had the edge early on. Alex Ion and Srinidhi Raghavan jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead, but found themselves in a 6-5 match. Cornell then came all the way back to take this match, 8-6. At No. 1, Sol Eskenazi and Jules Rodin found themselves down early, 5-2. They would play their counterparts even the rest of the way, but could not bounce-back from the early deficit in their 8-5 loss.
At No. 3, Stephanie Do and Emma Whitfield gave Penn a win in the final singles match to finish play. They jumped out in front early by taking four of the first five games. However, Cornell would rebound and take six of the next nine games, forcing a tiebreak. In that tiebreak, Do and Whitfield would not concede another point, winning 7-0. The win marks their second consecutive victory in the Ivy League.
Following a tough doubles match, Ion rebounded with the first win of the day in singles. She allowed just three games total, two in the first and one in second, on the way to her straight-set victory. Her first career Ivy win moves her to 18-11 overall this year. The Quakers were dealt their only loss in singles in three sets at No. 6. After a tough opening set, Whitfield allowed just one game in the second before her opponent turned that score around on her in the third as Cornell took the 2-1 lead in the team race.
Playing an opponent who defeated her in a 10-point tiebreak at the Cissie Leary Invitational, Do continued to show huge strides of improvement with a straight-set win on Friday. After splitting the first 10 games evenly, Do took the final two games in the first set, winning the opener, 7-5. Tied 2-2 in the second set, Do broke twice and held once to go up 5-2 before coming away with the 6-4 win in the second set. She has now won four straight Ivy League matches, giving her 14 victories on the year.
Eskenazi put Penn on the brink of victory with her win at No. 1. She did not get off to a great start, going down 4-1 early, but took four of the next five games, tying her opening set at five-all. After the No. 1's traded breaks, making the score six-all, Penn's freshman took the tiebreak, 7-5, to win the opening set. In the second, she came back from an early break to go up 5-4 before breaking her opponent to secure the straight-set win. She now moves to 5-1 in Ivy play and is 19-4 overall, including a 12-2 record this spring.
Moments after Eskenazi won, Raghavan clinched the team victory for Penn. She bounced back from a tough opening set with quick starts in the second and third sets. She would take the first three games in the final two sets and ride that early momentum to 6-2 wins in both. Her victory was her second straight in the Ivy League and her seventh overall this year.
Playing the final home match of her career on Senior Day, it was Daniela DePaoli that would close the final home match of her career with a victory. She suffered a 6-3 loss in her first set, but bounced back and started the second set up 3-0 before evening the match at one set apiece with a 6-2 win in the second. In the third set, she went up 4-1 to start. Her opponent took the next two games, but DePaoli responded with two more of her own, winning 6-3. The win gives her 10 victories in a season for the first time in her career and was also the first Ivy victory of her season.
The Quakers will be in search of their third Ivy League win in the regular season finale this Sunday when the team travels to Columbia. That match will get underway at noon.
1: Lauren Frazier/Sarah O'Neil (C) def. #44 Sol Eskenazi/Jules Rodin (P), 8-5
2: Christine Ordway/Ryann Young (C) def. Alex Ion/Srinidhi Raghavan (P), 8-6
3: Stephanie Do/Emma Whitfield (P) def. Sara Perelman/Gabby Sullivan (C), 8-7(0)
1: Sol Eskenazi (P) def. Sarah O'Neil (C), 7-6(5), 6-4
2: Stephanie Do (P) def. Ryann Young (C), 7-5, 6-4
3: Alex Ion (P) def. Christine Ordway (C), 6-2, 6-1
4: Daniela DePaoli (P) def. Gabby Sullivan (C), 3-6, 6-2, 6-3
5: Srinidhi Raghavan (P) def. Sara Perelman (C), 1-6, 6-2, 6-2
6: Lauren Frazier (C) def. Emma Whitfield (P), 6-0, 1-6, 6-1