PHILADELPHIA – Riding momentum from a 6-1 defeat of Army on Tuesday, the Penn men’s tennis team heads right back to Ivy League play this weekend with a road trip to Brown (Fri.) and Yale (Sat.) for a pair of crucial Ancient Eight contests. Both matches start at 2 p.m.
The Quakers are 0-1 in league play in 2009 after losing a tight 4-3 match at Princeton last week. Neither Brown nor Yale have played a conference match yet this season.
Penn and Brown met at the ECAC Championships in Boston earlier this season, with the Bears winning, 6-0. The lineup the Quakers posted that day will be very different than the one scheduled to take the courts this weekend as the Red and Blue were hampered by injuries at the tournament. In fact, due to roster limitations, the two teams did not even play doubles, an area that Penn has been successful in this season.
The Bears have a formidable No. 1 player in Jonathan Pearlman. He is 13-5 at the top spot this year and 16-5 overall. Sam Garland seems to have locked up the No. 4 spot with his 9-3 record at that position. He combines with Noah garland to play the majority of No. 1 doubles as the team has a 9-4 record.
The Bulldogs, ranked No. 72 in the latest ITA rankings, have an overall record of 10-5. They are coming off a 5-2 win over St. John’s last weekend. Jeff Dawson has played the majority of the matches at No. 1, compiling an 8-4 record. Joel Samaha has played anywhere from No. 3 to No. 5 and is 11-3 in dual matches this year. Michael Caldwell and Connor Dawson are 5-1 as a team at No. 1 doubles.
Last year, Penn swept the weekend series with the two schools. First, the Quakers defeated Yale, 6-1, before downing Brown, 5-2.
For the Quakers, Adam Schwartz is the only player on this year’s roster who saw action in last year’s matches. He played both singles and doubles against both squads. Justen Roth saw time in singles against Brown.
Schwartz is undefeated when playing at No. 3 this year, winning all six matches he has played at that spot. His overall dual record is 8-6. Senior captain Jonathan Boym has returned to the lineup at No. 2, a position where he is 6-2 this season. Penn’s No. 1, Hicham Laalej is 10-5 this year. The only other Penn player in double figures in wins is Jason Lin. The freshman is 10-5 as well, playing anywhere from No. 4 to No. 6. In fact, all six of Penn’s regular starters have winning records.