PHILADELPHIA - The Penn men's tennis overcame some disadvantages on Wednesday, most notably the absences of Jeremy Court and Vim De Alwis, two players who are a combined 9-1 in singles this spring, to win its fifth consecutive match over the visiting Navy Midshipmen, 5-2.
Missing those two key cogs in the lineup, the doubles point carried even more weight than usual. After a split of matches at Nos. 1 and 2, De Alwis - who was available for doubles but not singles - teamed up with Austin Kaplan for a gutsy 9-8 win at No. 3 to stake Penn to the early lead.
Nikola Kocovic quickly doubled that, holding serve at No. 1 over Navy's Calvin Mark, 6-3 and 6-4. The Mids came right back at No. 2 as Peter McDonald defeated Blaine Willenborg, 6-2, 6-3. The remaining four matches would all need a decisive third set to determine a winner.
After falling behind by a set, Zach Katz rebounded to put the Red and Blue on the cusp of victory with a 4-6, 6-1, 7-5 takedown of Austin Jones. Later, Ismael Lahlou turned the tables on Blake Daniel to clinch the Penn win, 4-6, 6-1, 6-1. Though Alex Gaines scored Navy's second point with a win at No. 6 over Mark Milbrandt, Kaplan closed the day out with a 6-4, 1-6, 7-6 victory over Nicholas Gutsche.
Penn wraps up a six-match homestand on Saturday, hosting UMBC from Levy Pavilion at 11 a.m.. The Quakers follow that with a week-long trip through Florida, playing at least three matches in the Sunshine State before returning home to face Binghamton on March 10.
1.Calvin Mark/Peter McDonald (Navy) def. Zach Katz/Nikola Kocovic (Penn); 9-7
2. Mark Milbrandt/Blaine Willenborg (P) def. Alex Gaines/Austin Jones (N); 8-6
3. Vim De Alwis/Austin Kaplan (P) def.Blake Daniel/Nicholas Gutsche (N); 9-8
Order of Finish: 1,2,3
1. Kocovic (P) def. Mark (N); 6-3, 6-4
2. McDonald (N) def. Willenborg (P); 6-2, 6-3
3. Katz (P) def. Jones (N); 4-6, 6-1, 7-5
4. Ismael Lahlou (P) def. Daniel (N); 4-6, 6-1, 6-1
5. Kaplan (P) def. Gutsche (N); 6-4, 1-6, 7-6
6. Gaines (N) def. Milbrandt (P); 4-6, 6-4, 7-5
Order of Finish: 1,2,3,4,6,5