PRINCETON, N.J. – This past weekend, the University of Pennsylvania men’s tennis team opened its fall season by competing in the first tournament at Princeton. The Quakers competed in the 46th Annual Farnsworth Ivy Plus at the Lenz Tennis Center, where 11 of the players participated in the singles draws. Of the 11, eight also contended in the doubles draws.
Penn saw three singles players -- sophomore Matt Nardella, junior Blaine Willenborg, and freshman Josh Pompan – advance to the quarterfinals of their respective draws.
In the Lenz Draw, Nardella defeated his first opponent, Notre Dame’s Billy Pecor, after two tight sets, 7-5; 7-6(5). In the quarterfinals, Nardella saw Pepperdine’s Stefan Menichella, who went on to win the Lenz Draw, and fell in two sets, 7-6; 6-3.
Willenborg and Pompancompeted on opposite ends of the Cordish draw and both advanced to the quarterfinals. Willenborg defeated Marist’s Jan Dernic in two quick sets, 6-2; 6-2, but later fell to Harvard’s Jean Thirouin in the quarterfinals, 6-3; 6-4. (Thirouin advanced to the finals but fell to Run Hao Hua of Michigan.) Elsewhere, Pompan recorded his first collegiate victory to advance to the quarterfinals. He defeated Alex VanCott from Tulane in two sets, 6-4; 6-2. In his second match, Pompan took set one 7-5 but dropped the second 6-4. Fighting till the end, Pompan fell in a tie-breaker third set 7-6(3).
Penn will hit the courts again when the Quakers host the annual fall Penn Invite at the Hamlin Tennis Courts starting Sept. 26.
*Strength of draws: