Men's Tennis Hosts Radford, Then Off to New Mexico

PHILADELPHIA – After a successful weekend out west, the University of Pennsylvania men’s tennis team will once again head back out west only this time, the team will additionally travel south to New Mexico for its spring break trip. But before leaving on Saturday, the No. 39 Quakers (9-1) will host Radford in the Hecht Tennis Center at 9 a.m.

Spring Break Schedule
3/7 Radford 9 a.m.

3/8 Georgia State 10 a.m. MST
3/10 No. 45 New Mexico 1 p.m. MST
3/12 New Mexico State 1 p.m. MST
3/13 UT Arlington 11 a.m. MST

Last Time on the Court
The Red and Blue returned to Philadelphia with a perfect 3-0 record after being on the road in Idaho. In the Boas Indoor Tennis Center, Penn kicked off the weekend with a 4-3 win over BYU and followed it up with back-to-back 4-3 nail-biters over then-No. 72 Boise State and then-No. 73 Utah.

With the match on the line, all eyes were on junior captain Vim De Alwis, as he was locked in a third-set tiebreaker with Bronco Garrett Patton. With determination, De Alwis battled through and came out on top, winning 14-12. Later, things looked bleak for the Quakers, down 3-1 against Utah. Refusing to lose, sophomore Marshall Sharp, senior captain Jeremy Court, and freshman Josh Pompan proved their resiliency and provided the final three wins for the Penn victory.

Movin’ Up in the ITA Rankings
Announced on Tuesday by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association, the Quakers once again moved up in the Top 75 poll, making a five-spot jump from 44 to 39. The 3-0 weekend, including pair of wins over nationally ranked opponents, helped propel the movement in the standings. This marks the fifth-straight week the Red and Blue have been in the poll and is the highest ranking in program history*.

Among the Ivy League teams in the rankings, Penn lands at five in the order. Columbia remains at top of the Ancient Eight at No. 15, though dropping two spots from last week’s release. The Lions aren’t the only Ivy team in the top 20 on the list of 75 as Harvard made moves up to 18 from 22. And despite dropping two spots from 23, Princeton remains in the top 25.

Dartmouth had the biggest jump around the League, moving up 14 spots from 50 to 36, while Cornell had the second with 12; the Big Red moved from 58 to 46. Brown rounds out the group, holding it down at 49. Yale is the only Ivy League team not in the standings.

Penn in the ITA Top 75*
No. 39 – 3/3/2015

No. 44 – 2/24/2015
No. 52 – 2/17/2015
T-No. 51 – 2/10/2015^
T-No. 51 – 2/3/2015
No. 75 – 3/6/2012
No. 63 – 4/5/2011
No. 61 – 3/29/2011
No. 60 – 3/22/2011
No. 64 – 3/15/2011
No. 71 – 3/1/2011
No. 68 – 3/2/2010
No. 51 – end of 2006
*Note: Records may not be complete.
^ ITA release Individual and Double rankings; team rankings did not change.

New Mexico, New Opponents
Out of the five opponents that the Quakers will face over the spring break period, NMU is the only team that is listed in Penn’s opponents history records. It will mark just the fourth time in program history that the two teams have met, with the first being in 2000 when the Lobos won 7-0. In the most recent meeting between the two, the Red and Blue claimed their first victory of the series, 5-2, in 2005. The match-up between Penn and New Mexico will also be the first during the tenure of Albert G. Molloy Head Coach David Geatz, who graduated from NMU in ’81. Not only will Geatz be returning to his alma mater, New Mexico was also his first coaching job at the college level. He was the head coach from 1983-88 and led the Lobos to a top-20 national ranking and earned Western Athletic Conference and NCAA regional coach of the year honors.

As for the other four opponents – Radford, Georgia State, New Mexico State, UT Arlington – this year’s trip will mark the first meeting.