PHILADELPHIA – After a 2-0 start against Philadelphia opponents, Penn heads south for a pair of men’s tennis matches against Florida schools this weekend. The Quakers take on Florida Atlantic on Saturday at 1 p.m. followed by No. 23 Miami on Sunday at 2 p.m.
“This will be a great experience for our team,” head coach Nik DeVore said. “Playing two top teams in the national scope this early in the season will be a challenge for us – one that we gladly accept.”
FAU is 4-3 in dual matches this season, having taken on some of the toughest competition in the country. Included in the three losses is a close 4-3 decision to Miami in Coral Gables in late January. Marc Abdelnour, FAU’s top singles player is 7-0 on the season and was recently named Atlantic Sun Player of the Week.
After the day in Boca Raton, Penn heads to Coral Gables to play the Hurricanes. Miami stands at 2-2 on the season and will play Clemson on Saturday prior to the date with the Red and Blue. The ‘Canes are a deep team and a player to watch is Ignacio Taboada. He is 3-0 in the dual season with wins at Nos. 2 and 3 positions. Carl Sundberg is also 3-0 at the No. 4 spot.
Penn will counter with a host of players who are 2-0 on the young spring season, led by Hicham Laalej, Jonathan Boym and Adam Schwartz. Penn has been solid up and down the lineup in both singles and doubles, and a full team effort is hoped for this weekend.
DeVore says that despite the travel and change to outdoor courts, his team is in position to succeed this weekend.
“It is about belief,” he said. “Our guys have a lot of talent, they just have to believe they can compete at this level. We have confidence after winning our first two matches, now it is time to step it up even more.”