PHILADELPHIA – The University of Pennsylvania men’s tennis team (9-11, 1-6 Ivy) concluded the regular season on Sunday at the Hamlin Tennis Center, battling hard against the No. 51 Cornell Big Red but falling by a score of 5-2.
Cornell established an early edge, claiming the doubles point with wins in the Nos. 1 and 3 matches. Zach Katz and Vim De Alwis were holding onto a 6-5 lead at No. 2, but with the point decided in favor of Cornell, the teams skipped ahead to the singles portion of the day’s action.
Katz and De Alwis continued their solid play in singles, each taking a straight-set victory to give the Quakers a momentary 2-1 lead. Katz had no trouble with Jason Luu at No. 4, winning 6-1, 6-2. Minutes later, De Alwis put the finishing touches on a 6-3, 6-2 victory over Kyle Berman. Cornell was able to even the match at 2-2 when Sam Fleck downed Jeremy Court in No. 2 singles, 6-3, 6-2.
Three singles matches required a third set, so the match was still very much hanging in the balance and could have gone in either team’s favor. The first of the three to finish came at No. 5, where Blaine Willenborg fought back from a 4-1 deficit in the third set to force a tiebreaker, but couldn’t cap the comeback as Quoc-Daniel Nguyen held on for a 6-4, 2-6, 7-6(2) victory.
The Big Red took home the win with a win in the No. 1 singles match between Nikola Kocovic and Venkat Iyer. Kocovic won the first set and even had opportunities in both the second and third sets to close it out, but Cornell’s Iyer refused to back down and eventually came away with a dramatic 4-6, 7-6(4), 7-6(2) win against the Penn co-captain. The last ongoing match also went to the visitors, with Alex Sidney notching a 5-7, 6-4, 6-2 win against Ismael Lahlou.
Thanks to victories both on Friday and today, De Alwis and Katz end the season tied for the team lead with four wins in Ivy League matches. De Alwis led the Quakers with 24 total victories between the fall and spring seasons.
1. Sidney/Iyer (C) def. Kocovic/Austin Kaplan (P), 8-4
2. Katz/De Alwis (P) vs. Nguyen/Luu (C), 6-5 (DNF)
3. Fleck/Berman (C) def. Court/Willenborg (P), 8-5
Order of Finish: 1,3,2
1. Venkat Iyer (C) def. Nikola Kocovic (P), 4-6, 7-6(4), 7-6(2)
2. Sam Fleck (C) def. Jeremy Court (P), 6-3, 6-2
3. Alex Sidney (C) def. Ismael Lahlou (P), 5-7, 6-4, 6-2
4. Zach Katz (P) def. Jason Luu (C), 6-1, 6-2
5. Quoc-Daniel Nguyen (C) def. Blaine Willenborg (P), 6-4, 2-6, 7-6(2)
6. Vim De Alwis (P) def. Kyle Berman (C), 6-3, 6-2
Order of Finish: 4,6,2,5,1,3