NORFOLK, Va. - The Penn men's tennis team came tantalizingly close to a big upset victory at Old Dominion Sunday, but were turned back at the end by the No. 45 team in the country, losing 4-3. For the Quakers it was their first loss of the year after three victories at home opened up the season.
"[Assistant Coach] Josh [Cohen] and I are really proud of the way the team competed," said head coach Nik DeVore. "It hurts not to come away with a huge road win like this, but to a man, the guys competed very well."
The match was tense from the start. After dropping the first doubles set, Penn rebounded when Justen Roth and Adam Schwartz won at No. 3, 8-3. The doubles point then came down to the No. 2 set, where Eric Riley and Brandon O'Gara found themselves in the lead, 7-6, before dropping the game and eventually the match, 9-7.
The Quakers rebounded well, as Eric Riley was the first to finish his singles match, winning at No. 3, 6-3, 6-4. Justen Roth also won, 6-4, 6-4, to give the Quakers a temporary 2-1 lead in the match.
After Jason Pinsky fell at No. 1, freshman Dmitry Bury stepped up and battled back from an early deficit to take the No. 6 singles match, 5-7, 7-5, 6-4. Senior Joseph Lok also fought back from aset down early and pulled to within a point of taking his match and securing the victory for the Quakers while up 5-4 in the third set, but he could come no closer.
The last man on the court for Penn was Adam Schwartz, who also took his match to a third set. Unfortunately, Schwartz suffered from cramping during the set and fell, giving the Monarchs the 4-3 victory.
"This match should give us a great deal of confidence heading into the rest of the season," DeVore said. "This was our first road match of the season and it was against a very talented ranked opponent. To go into Old Dominion without two of our top players and almost come out with a victory says a lot about our team."
#45 Old Dominion 4 Penn 3
#1 Seleznev/Igarashi def. Pinsky/Lok 8-3
#2 Fangelow/Souza def. Riley/Ogara 9-7
#3 Roth/Shcwartz def Geimrke/Fawlett 8-3
#1 Seleznev def Pinskey 6-1,7-5
#2 Igarashi def. Lok 6-4,5-7,7-5
#3 Riley def Fangelo 6-3,6-4
#4 Souza def Schwartz 6-4,6-7,6-0
#5 Roth def. Fawlett 6-4,6-4
#6 Bury def. Funkmouser 5-7,7-5,6-4