PHILADELPHIA - The men's tennis team will look to rebound from a heartbreaking 4-3 defeat to Princeton as the Quakers (8-6, 0-1 Ivy) continue Ivy League play this weekend. First up will be Yale at 2 p.m. on Saturday, followed by Brown at 2 p.m. on Sunday. Weather permitting; the matches will be held outside on the Hamlin Tennis Center Courts.
In the Ivy opener for both teams last Saturday, the two archrivals found themselves in a down-to-the-wire battle. The Quakers won two out of three doubles to seize the doubles point and go up 1-0 in the team score. With the momentum, the Red and Blue jumped out to take the first sets in four of the six singles matches. Senior captain Phil Law along with freshman Jeremy Court closed out their matches at No. 3 and No. 5 respectively to give the Quakers the 3-1 advantage. That marked Court's fifth win in a row to lead the team with an impressive 11-3 record this spring (17-5 overall), including 4-0 at the No. 5 spot.
Penn just needed to win at least one of the remaining three matches to seal the victory over Princeton. However, the Tigers fought back and won the next two matches to tie the overall score at 3-3. It came down to a third set tiebreaker at No. 6 singles between sophomore Zach Katz and his opponent Matt Siow. Katz was up 5-2 in the tiebreak, but Siow won the next five points to hand Penn its fifth straight loss to the Tigers.
A Year Ago
Last season, the Red and Blue split the weekend with Yale and Brown. Against Yale, four of the singles matches went into three sets, but the Quakers were only able to win two of them for their only points of the day, falling by a 5-2 score. However, Penn was able to turn that around the next day, coming from behind to edge out Brown 4-3 for the team's only win in the Ivy League last year. The Quakers fought an uphill battle the whole time, dropping the doubles point and were then down 3-1 in the team score. Ivan Turudic defeated Brown's Sam Fife 6-3, 2-6, 6-3 at No. 3 singles to knot it at 3-3. The victory came down to Phil Law and Brandon Burke at No. 2 singles, and Law came through for Penn, triumphing 6-4, 5-7, 7-6 (6).
The Series with Yale:
Overall Series: Penn has a 25-63 record against the Bulldogs
First Meeting: The first meeting between the two schools was in 1912, where Penn lost to Yale, 9-0.
Last Meeting: April 1, 2011, Yale won 5-2 at Yale
Last Penn Win: April 4, 2008, Penn won 6-1 at home
- This is the 89th time the two teams will face off, which is the second most Penn has played against any other Ancient Eight opponent in school history, the first being Princeton.
- Yale has taken the last three matches versus the Quakers. Prior to that, Penn had won three in a row from 2006-2008.
- Penn holds a 6-4 record in the last 10 matchups between the two schools.
The match with Penn will be Yale's first dual match of the Ivy League season. In their last match, the Bulldogs had their four-match winning streak snapped by No. 60 St. John's to drop to 11-6 this spring, their first home loss of the season. The 4-3 defeat came down to the No. 2 singles match between junior Daniel Hoffman and senior Milo Hauk of St. John's. In the end, Hauk prevailed 6-7, 6-4, 6-4 to clinch the victory for the Red Storm and also ended Hoffman's nine-match winning streak. One bright spot for the Elis was their No. 1 singles player, Marc Powers, ranked #118 nationally, defeating the 58th ranked player, Vasko Mladenov, 6-2, 7-5, to improve to 8-5 this season. Yale also boasts the No. 67 ranked doubles team, Hoffman and Powers, who are currently on a four-match winning streak and 12-2 overall this season.
The Series with Brown:
Overall Series: Penn leads 37-19
First Meeting: April 18, 1958, Penn lost to Brown, 6-3
Last Meeting: April 2, 2011, Penn won 4-3 at Brown
Last Brown Win: April 3, 2009, Brown won 6-1 at Brown
- Penn has won the last two years against Brown, as well as the last two times playing at home.
- The last time the Quakers lost at home was the Ivy League Playoff match for the NCAA tournament in 2006 when both schools were Ivy League Co-Champs. The Bears topped Penn, 4-3, to receive the Ivy League automatic bid.
Brown is currently ranked 54th nationally in the most recent ITA rankings, the third-highest Ivy League school ranked behind Harvard (No. 20) and Columbia (No. 50). The Bears enter the weekend with a 14-3 record and are on a six-match winning streak. Their last loss came to Harvard in the ECAC Division I Indoor Team Championship Finals back in February. Brown had won two of three doubles to take the doubles point, but Harvard recorded four singles victories to defeat the Bears 4-1 and win the title. Brown has a very young team -only three of the players on the roster are upperclassmen- and are led by sophomores Brandon Burke and Soufiane Azargui. Burke was named the Ivy League Rookie of the Year last year as well as to the Second Team All-Ivy in singles and doubles, along with Azargui. The Bears will face Princeton on Saturday before coming to Penn on Sunday.