PHILADELPHIA – In front of a raucous Hecht Center crowd, the University of Pennsylvania men’s tennis team capped of 2016 with a thrilling 4-3 win over No. 48 Princeton. The Quakers conclude their season at 3-4 in the Ivy League, signifying a three-win improvement from a year ago.
Penn’s recipe for success was tallying the doubles’ point, and grabbing three singles’ wins—all in third-set tiebreakers. The Red and Blue’s top duos of Nicholai Westergaard and Austin Kaplan and Matt Nardella and Blaine Willenborg were each victorious, leading to a 1-0 lead for the Quakers.
The Tigers responded with wins at No. 2, No. 3 and No. 5 singles to claim a 3-1 edge. Josh Pompan dropped a third-set tiebreaker at three, while Vim De Alwis also fell in three sets at No. 2.
With three matches remaining and Penn in need of victories in all three, the Quakers saved their best for last. It was first Matt Nardella gutting out a 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (2) win over Joshua Yablon at No. 4. Ismael Lahlou, who was one of Penn's five seniors to play their last match on Saturday, followed with a 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (2) triumph at No. 6.
It would then come down to Kyle Mautner in the No. 1 slot. With his teammates willing him from the sideline, the freshman delivered a scintillating 4-6, 7-5, 7-6 (5) victory over Thomas Colautti.
Nicholai Westergaard/Austin Kaplan def. Alexander Day/Luke Gamble, 6-4
Matt Nardella/Blaine Willenborg def. Diego Vives/Jonathan Carcione, 6-3
Vim De Alwis/Kyle Mautner v. Thomas Colautti/Joshua Yablon, DNF
Kyle Mautner def. Thomas Colautti, 4-6, 7-5, 7-6 (5)
Diego Vives def. Vim De Alwis, 6-4, 5-7, 6-2
Alexander Day def. Josh Pompan, 6-3, 0-6, 7-6 (4)
Matt Nardella def. Joshua Yablon, 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (3)
Luke Gamble def. Blaine Willenborg, 6-1, 6-3
Ismael Lahlou def. Jimmy Wasserman, 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (2)