NEW HAVEN Penn’s play is complete at the ITA Regional hosted by Yale, and the weekend was a success for the Red and Blue as three players advanced to the Round of 16 out of 128 total players. That number was the second most out of the 30 teams participating in the event.
Freshman Phil Law continued his stellar play in the fall, advancing to the Round of 16 before falling to Brown’s Jon Pearlman, 6-4, 6-2. He had wins over Pavel Cerny of St. John’s (6-3, 6-1) and seeded players Ari Gayer of Dartmouth (6-1, 6-3) and George Carpeni of Princeton (7-5, 6-4) to earn his spot in the Round of 16. Carpeni was the eighth overall seed in the tournament. Law finished the fall season 13-4, including a 10-1 singles record over the last 10 days.
Hicham Laalej also advanced to the Round of 16, winning two matches after earning a bye in the first round. He defeated Kiril Kolomyts of Buffalo in the second round, 6-4, 6-2, before advancing past Harvard’s Alistair Felton, 7-6, 6-4. In the Round of 16, he fell to the fourth seed in the tournament, Columbia’s Jonathan Wong, 6-3, 6-2. Laalej finished his fall season with a 5-4 record, playing the top competition in the region. He picked up a signature win over Arizona’s Andres Carrasco, the 83rd-ranked player in the country. Laalej is the 105th-ranked player in the ITA polls.
The third player to advance to the Round of 16 was Adam Schwartz. He rattled of three wins to advance that far, starting his tournament off with a straight-set win over Brown’s Nate Gorham, 6-1, 6-2. In the second round, he rolled past Sasha Svetlakov of St. John’s, 6-0, 6-1. He followed that up with a 7-6, 6-1 defeat of Harvard’s Alexei Chijoff-Evans before dropping his Round of 16 match to fifth-seeded Jeff Dawson of Yale. Schwartz finished his fall season with a 9-3 record.
In doubles play, Penn’s team of Laalej and Law advanced to the quarterfinals by pulling off an upset of the top seeded team of Brendan Lynch and Jake Toole of Penn State. The match went to a tiebreaker where PSU’s team took a 4-2 lead. Penn stormed back to win five of the next six points for the win. The momentum did not carry over to the next round, as Penn was knocked out by Brown’s team of Noah Gardner and Sam Garland
“Our fall season is concluded and the results were very promising,” head coach Nik DeVore said. “We will now focus on our off-court training and prepare for the spring season.”
Penn opens its 2009 spring season at home in Levy Pavilion against Drexel on January 25.