PHILADELPHIA - The men's tennis team is set to host archrival Princeton this Saturday in its first Ivy action of the year. Weather permitting, the match will be played outdoors at the Hamlin Tennis Center, but with rain and cool temperatures forecast, the match could find its way inside to the Levy Tennis Pavilion. Doubles action will start at 2 p.m. and all spectators will be treated to free pizza and refreshments.
Penn has alternated wins and losses in its last eight matches to go 8-5 this spring. Last time out, the Quakers had a disappointing debut on the new Hamlin Tennis Center Courts, falling 5-2 to visiting #58 St. John's on Wednesday. Penn was swept in all three doubles for only the third time this season, giving the Red Storm the early 1-0 lead. Things started to fall apart for the Red and Blue as the team dropped the first set in five of the six singles matches. Freshman Jeremy Court was the lone Quaker to claim his first set, and was able to put Penn on the board when his opponent retired in the second set. This marked Court's ninth victory in his last 10 matches and his 10th win in singles this spring, improving his record to 16-5 overall to lead the team. Penn's other point on the day came at No.6 singles when sophomore Zach Katz won his second set in a tiebreaker to force a third set, eventually triumphing 1-6, 7-6(5), 10-7.
The Series with Princeton:
Overall Series: Penn has a 13-86-2* record against the Tigers
First Meeting: Princeton and Penn played in Penn's first ever intercollegiate team competition match in 1911, in which Princeton won 2-0.*
Last Meeting: March 26, 2011, Princeton won 4-3 at Princeton
Last Penn Win: March 31, 2007, Penn won 5-2 at Princeton
- This is the 102nd time the two rivals will face off, which is the most times Penn has played against any other opponent in school history.
- Princeton has taken the last four matches versus the Quakers. Prior to that, Penn had won four in a row from 2005-2007, the longest winning streak for Penn in the series.
*According to the Penn Athletics Department Archives
Princeton enters the matchup with a 9-8 record and is on a two game winning streak. The Tigers' No. 1 singles player, junior Matija Pecotic, is currently ranked 65th nationally, and was the Ivy League Player of the Year last year, as well as a First-Team All-Ivy selection. So far this spring, he has only lost two matches, accumulating a 12-2 record at No. 1 singles. On the year, he is 21-4 overall, including winning the Flight A singles title at the Columbia Classic in the fall. The Tigers also have a doubles pairing ranked nationally; fellow juniors Matt Siow and Matt Spindler are currently No. 40 on the list. Nonetheless, Nikola Kocovic and Mark Milbrandt, partnering together at the USTA NTC Invitational, do own an 8-5 victory over the Tigers duo.
Last year, Princeton just barely edged out the Quakers in an intense 4-3 battle. The Red and Blue captured the doubles point to put itself up early, but wins by the Tigers in three of the next four matches put Princeton in front 3-2. Nikola Kocovic playing at No. 6 won his match in three sets to tie the team score at three apiece, and the match came down to Phil Law at No. 4 singles. Law and his Princeton opponent, Augie Bloom, split the first two sets by matching 6-4 margins, but Law eventually fell in a heartbreaking 4-6, 6-4, 5-7 defeat.