PHILADELPHIA - The Penn men's tennis team opens the 2010 season when it hosts both Drexel and Bucknell on Saturday at the Levy Tennis Pavilion.
The Quakers first face off against city rival Drexel at 11 a.m. and then follow it up with a match versus the Bison at 3 p.m.
Last season the Red and Blue took care of the Dragons, as they won 7-0 without dropping a set. However this season Drexel comes into the matchup with a 2-0 record. Bucknell meanwhile, has yet to play a dual match this season after finishing with an 8-11 mark a season ago. The Bison also return three of their top four players from last year.
Penn enters the spring season after a very success fall campaign. The Quakers participated in six tournaments during the fall, and had seven players reach the finals in their respective flights, with three coming away with victories.
Head coach Nik DeVore is pleased with his team's performance thus far. "We had a very successful fall season and are hoping that this is a sign of good things to come this spring," said DeVore. "The guys worked hard in the offseason in preparation for a tough spring schedule, and we're ready to get things started"
One player who will be counted upon to play well this spring is sophomore transfer Eugen Brazdil. Brazdil is expected to play at No. 1 singles this spring after a fall which saw him go 8-2 and capture the Princeton Invitational flight A title.
The Quakers also have a balance of senior leadership and underclassmen, which will keep the Red and Blue competitive in every match. Seniors Adam Schwartz, Justen Roth and Jeff Karsh have several years of varsity experience, while sophomores Phil Law and Jason Lin look to improve on their impressive freshman campaigns, when they won 23 and 22 matches respectively. Juniors Dmitry Bury and Zach Gorn will provide depth for the squad. One person who won't be playing this weekend is senior All-Ivy performer Hicham Laalej who is still recovering from a broken leg suffered last year.
In addition to the returning players, Penn welcomes five freshmen into the fold, four of whom won state or individual state championships in high school, while the fifth, Gorkem Yurtseven, reached the national semifinals in Turkey on three occasions. Leading the group in the fall was Jason Magnes, winner of a team-high 11 matches, and Mark Milbrandt who won four of his final five matches of the fall. Rounding out the freshman class are Rob Wong and Lucas Andreika. The two Connecticut natives had matching 4-3 records in the fall, while Wong added a 3-2 mark in doubles.