PHILADELPHIA - The Penn men's tennis team seems to be getting healthy at just the right time. With all three of the starting doubles teams intact and in action on Wednesday, the Quakers swept the doubles point and went on to take a 5-2 victory over St. John's in the Quakers' first match of the season at Lott Courts.
At No. 1 doubles, seniors Jason Pinsky and Joseph Lok got the day off to a good start when they handily dispatched St. John's top doubles team, 8-3. The No. 2 team of Brandon O'Gara and Eric Riley did the same, winning their match 8-2. The Quakers completed the sweep when Adam Schwartz and Justen Roth took an 8-7 decision at No. 3 doubles.
"Doubles really set the tone for us," head coach Nik DeVore said. "St. John's swept a very good Harvard team in doubles, so we were nervous about them coming in. It was great having our normal lineup out there and back from injuries. I think it really was a confidence boost for us to have the teams in doubles that helped us go 9-2 in doubles earlier this year."
With the all-important doubles point secured, the Quakers set about winning the overall match in singles.
At No. 3, Lok set the tone when he made quick work of his opponent, 6-2, 6-1. After Justin Fox fell in the No. 2 position, O'Gara claimed victory at No. 6, winning 6-4, 6-3 to pull the Quakers within a point of the overall match victory.
In a battle at the top spot, it was Pinsky who secured the win when he won his No. 1 match, 6-3, 6-4.
Schwartz provided the final margin of victory from No. 4, where he won 6-4, 6-2.
"We were really happy with how the team performed today," DeVore said. "We're almost back from our injury issues, and we are looking forward to getting into the Ivy League season. That is what we have been aiming for all year."
The Quakers open Ivy League play on Saturday when they take on the Tigers of Princeton. The match, set to start at 2 p.m., will take place at Lott Courts, weather permitting.
1. Jason Pinsky and Joseph Lok def. Artem Vlasenko and Gustavo Loza, 8-3
2. Brandon O'Gara and Eric Riley def. Alex Svetlakov and Martin Kosut, 8-2
3. Adam Schwartz and Justen Roth def. Derek Wallensteen and Pavel Cerny, 8-7
Penn wins the doubles point
1. Jason Pinsky def. Artem Vlasenko, 6-3, 6-4
2. Alex Svetlakov def. Justin Fox, 6-0, 6-3
3. Joseph Lok def. Gustavo Loza, 6-2, 6-1
4. Adam Schwartz def. Marin Kosut, 6-4, 6-2
5. Pavel Cerny def. Justen Roth, 6-3, 7-5
6. Brandon O'Gara def. Asaf Honig, 6-4, 6-3