PHILADELPHIA - After two home matches to start the 2008 campaign, #56 Penn travels to Richmond, Va. for a meeting with #23 Virginia Commonwealth Saturday at 2 p.m. The Quakers enter the match with a 2-0 record while the Rams are 7-0, including a 4-3 win over then-#9 Clemson.
The Rams are led by the #36-ranked singles player in the country, Tatsiana Uvarova. She is 6-0 in dual meets this season playing in the number one spot. Uvarova is a retruning All-American and has qualified for the last two NCAA Singles tournaments, advancing as far as the quartefinals in 2006.
The flu bug that swept through Penn's lineup in the early part of the season appears to have passed, and with that should come a return to the lineup for sophomore Ekaterina Kosminskaya. The reigning Ivy League Rookie and Player of the Year has yet to play a match in the 2008 season. Her re-insertion into the lineup should allow head coach to Michael Dowd to send out his top doubles team of Kosminskaya and senior Julia Koulbitskaya. The pair are currently ranked 14th in the ITA rankings and won two doubles titles in the fall season.
The two teams met at Penn in 2007, with the Rams taking a 5-2 win. The Quakers swept all three doubles matches to take that point, but could only win one singles match - from Koulbitskaya in number three singles.