PHILADELPHIA - The Quakers needed every point to take down Temple, beating the Owls 4-3 in a hard-fought match on Wednesday evening at the Levy Tennis Pavilion.
In a match that spanned more than four hours, senior Hicham Laalej provided the clinching victory for the Red and Blue. Laalej, playing at No. 1, dropped the first set 6-7 to Filip Rams and fell behind 4-3 in the second, before winning four of the final five points to even the match at one set apiece. In the final set, he captured the first point and didn't look back, fighting his way to a 6-4 victory.
The Quakers' other three points on the afternoon were all in singles, courtesy of a pair of freshmen and junior Jason Lin. Lin was one of two players to win in straight sets for the Red and Blue, taking No. 3 singles,6-4, 6-2. First-year Nikola Kocovic also swept his opponent at No. 5 singles, 6-2, 6-0.
Penn's final victory was a comeback win at No. 2 singles by Ivan Turudic. The freshman dropped the first set 3-6 before storming back to take the final two in convincing fashion, 6-1, 6-1.
In doubles, the Quakers lost two of three matches to lose the point. Penn's lone win came from the tandem of Laalej and Kocovic, who won No. 2 doubles, 9-8 (4).
Penn returns to action on Saturday when the team travels up to West Point to take on Army at 3 p.m.
Hicham Laalej def. Filip Rams (T) 6-7, 7-5, 6-4
Ivan Turudic (P) def. Andrey Morozov (T) 3-6, 6-1, 6-1
Jason Lin (P) def. Kacper Rams (T) 6-3, 6-4
Dmitry Vizhunov (T) def. Jason Magnes (P) 4-6, 6-2, 6-2
Nikola Kocovic (P) def. Mansur Gishkaev (T) 6-2, 6-0
Taylor Hairston (T) def. Zach Katz (P) 3-6, 6-4, 6-2
F. Rams/ Hairston (T) def. Katz/Turudic (P) 8-5
Laalej/Kocovic (P) def. Morozov/Gishkaev (T) 9-8 (4)
K. Rams/Vizhunov (T) def. Milbrandt/Andreika (P) 8-5