PHILADELPHIA – With two wins under its belt, the University of Pennsylvania men’s tennis team heads to University Park on Sunday for a match with No. 16 Penn State at the Indoor Tennis Center at 9 a.m. Looking to knock off the nationally ranked Nittany Lions and win their third straight match of the season, the Quakers hit the road for the first time this season.
Live stats of the match will be provided and can be found by clicking here.
Last weekend, the Red and Blue hosted the inaugural City 6 Tournament and finished on top with a 2-0 record. Penn first defeated Drexel 5-0 in the semi-finals and then Saint Joseph’s in the finals, 6-1. Playing at No. 3 against the Hawks, junior Austin Kaplan and freshman Josh Pompan won 6-1, while senior co-captain Jeremy Court and freshman Nicolas Podesta clinched the doubles point with their 6-1 victory at No. 1. Pompan, Court, and Podesta all added wins in their singles play along with senior Ismael Lahlou and sophomore Thomas Spratt for the overall 6-1 victory and City 6 title.
In the ITA Poll released on Wednesday, the Nittany Lions jumped up 10 spots to No. 16, matching the highest ranking in program history which was on April 8, 2014. A big weekend at the ITA Kickoff Weekend paved the way for PSU to make the move, defeating No. 19 Kentucky and No. 20 South Florida. Penn State and Columbia, last year’s Ivy champion, were the only two teams at the event to knock off two Top 20 opponents to advance out of their regional, and both teams join Duke as the only three DI teams with two wins over Top 20 opponents so far this season.
The Nittany Lions trailed Kentucky, 3-0, but made the comeback with wins at the bottom four singles. Matt Barry, Aws Laaribi, and Roman Trkulja all claimed singles wins, but it was Tomas Hanzlik’s (3-6, 6-4, 6-3) win at No. 6 that clinched the match point.
Last Meeting with PSU
When these two teams met last year, the Nittany Lions, then ranked No. 43, defeated the Quakers 5-2. Penn State swept the doubles matches for the point and went on to win the top three singles flights. The bottom three spots continued play and Matt Nardella earned the first point for the Red and Blue with his victory at No. 4 over Roman Trkulja (7-6, 5-7, 6-3). Zach Katz added an additional point with a tin at the No. 6 spot over Marc Collado Castells (4-6, 6-2, 10-6).
The Series with Penn State
Overall: Penn leads 36-14
First Meeting: 1912; Penn won by a score of 4-0
Last Meeting: 2014; Penn lost by a score of 2-5
Notables: Penn won the first 22 meetings between the programs, a streak that ended in 1973. Since that year, the Quakers and the Nittany Lions have split their matches 14-14, with PSU winning the last two matchups.