PHILADELPHIA - With a home tournament in the fall and 10 matches split between the Levy Tennis Pavilion and Hamlin Tennis Courts in the spring, the Penn men's tennis team looks to build on a successful first year of the David Geatz Era by continuing to rise in the league standings and challenge for the program's first Ivy League title since 2007.
The fall season will get underway nearby at the Princeton Invitational (Sept. 14-16). Second-team All-Ivy selection Jeremy Court (22-6 in singles during2011-12) began his freshman season with a Flight D singles title at the event a year ago and will aim to keep his perfect record in the tournament intact. One week later, the Quakers will have an even shorter trip as they take part in the Saint Joseph's Invite here in Philadelphia (Sept. 21-23).
From Sept. 28-30, Penn will mark a new era when it plays host to the first-ever Penn Invitational at the Hamlin Tennis Courts inside Penn Park. The Penn Invitational marks the first home tournament for the Quakers since Levy Pavilion was the site of the 2006 ITA Regionals and will feature a handful of Ivy League opponents as well as some far-flung opposition such as Minnesota and Iowa. The fall season will conclude as the team splits up for tournaments at Brown and Columbia (Oct. 5-7) with the ITA Regionals being played a week later at a site to be determined (Oct. 11-16).
After the calendar turns, the Red and Blue return to action with the indoor portion of their spring season beginning with a Feb. 2 date at Penn State. The Quakers and Nittany Lions haven't met since the 2006 season but Penn holds a comfortable 36-12 all-time lead against its Big Ten foe. The next day, Penn comes home to Levy Pavilion and faces a rematch from last season when they square off against the Buffalo Bulls. In the teams' first-ever meeting last year, Penn eked out a 4-3 victory with wins at doubles and from its Nos. 4, 5 and 6 singles players.
The homestand wraps up for the Quakers on Feb. 13 with the Georgetown Hoyas and on Feb. 15 against the visiting Stony Brook Seawolves. A quick turnaround will be in order following the Stony Brook match as Penn will immediately head up to Cornell to take part in the ECAC Tournament on Feb. 16-17, the first time the program has competed at ECAC's since 2008-09. The month concludes with another pair of matches inside Levy Pavilion, on Feb. 20 against Big 5 rival Temple and on Feb. 27 against Navy.
The month of March opens with a home match against UMBC on March 2 before the team makes its annual Spring Break trip. For the second year in a row, the Quakers head down to Florida and this year will take on Florida Atlantic (March 4), Miami (FL) (March 6) and South Florida (March 7) before returning home. A March 10 meeting with Binghamton is the last non-conference match inside Levy Pavilion but the Quakers will still travel to face Virginia Commonwealth (March 16) and St. John's (March 23) in final preparations for the Ivy League campaign.
A difficult three-match stretch on the road awaits the Quakers once the Ivy season begins. Penn will face Princeton (March 30), Brown (April 6) and Yale (April 7) away from home before finally taking on Dartmouth (April 13) in its first home match in over a month. 2012 Ivy League champ Harvard travels to Philadelphia the next day (April 14) to wrap up the weekend. The regular season will come to an end a week later as the Red and Blue travels to New York City to square off with 2012 NCAA Tournament team Columbia on April 19 before facing Geatz's former team, Cornell, at home on April 21. All Ivy League matches will be played outdoors at the Hamlin Tennis Courts if weather permits.
Penn finished last season with a 10-10 record while going 2-5 in the Ivy League to finish in a seventh-place tie. Letterwinners Zach Katz (13 singles wins in 2011-12), Rob Wong (11 wins), Nikola Kocovic and Ivan Turudic (nine wins apiece) return along with Court to form a strong nucleus for a team that will add in some talented freshmen to the mix as the season progresses.