PHILADELPHIA - Coming off of their first road win of the season against St. John’s, the Penn men’s tennis team (8-5) will once again look for victory away from home as they open the Ivy League season against the No. 52 Princeton Tigers (11-4) on Saturday at the Lenz Tennis Center. Doubles play will get underway at approximately 2 p.m.
Since falling twice to Columbia and Harvard at the ECAC Championships, Princeton has won seven of its last eight matches. A 5-2 loss to the nation’s sixth-ranked team, Pepperdine, is the lone blemish over that stretch. The Tigers are built around Matija Pecotic. The senior from Malta is the seventh-ranked singles player in the nation and has teamed with sophomore Zack McCourt to form the 33rd-ranked doubles team in Division I according to the most recent ITA rankings. McCourt typically fills the No. 2 position in singles behind Pecotic, while at the bottom of the ladder freshman Jonathan Carcione has won seven consecutive singles matches.
The Quakers have steadily built a solid foundation in doubles, particularly at the No. 2 spot where Austin Kaplan and Zach Katz have put up a 4-0 record. Grabbing an early lead could push the Red and Blue over the top in this battle between two closely-matched squads. In singles, Penn is winning matches at a .603 clip this spring, and has posted winning records at every position except at No. 1. Vim De Alwis and Ismael Lahlou have each won 10 singles matches this spring, and De Alwis leads the team with 20 overall wins when factoring in the spring season.
Following the match this weekend, Penn stays on the road for two more matches next week to close out a five-match roadtrip. The Quakers will face Brown on April 6 and Yale on April 7. Each match is set for 2 p.m.
The Series with Princeton
Overall:Princeton leads, 87-13-2
First Meeting:The Quakers lost in
Last Meeting: In 2012, the Quakers lost to the Tigers by a score of 4-3 in a match that went down to the wire
Last Penn Win:Penn’s last win over Princeton came in 2007, a 5-2 decision on the road
Notables: Three Penn players – Jeremy Court, Katz and Nikola Kocovic – return after posting doubles wins over the Tigers in 2012 … Court is the only returner who won a singles match in 2012. He defeated McCourt by scores of 7-5 and 6-3 in No. 5 singles.