PHILADELPHIA - The Penn Men's Tennis team takes its perfect record and national ranking to California next week when it plays four matches, including one against nationally ranked UC-Irivine.
The Quakers are 7-0 this season and on Tuesday made their first appearance in the national rankings since 2007. Penn came in as no. 68 in the country, one of four Ivy League teams to be ranked among the top 75. Harvard is the highest ranked team in the league, sitting at no. 53. Additionally, sophomore Eugen Brazdil is ranked fourth in the ITA Northeast Region, the highest rank for a Quaker since Jason Pinsky in 2006.
Last Saturday Penn won a pair of matches at the Levy Tennis Pavilion, dispatching of Villanova 6-1 and taking down Delaware 5-2 in a tight match. Against the Wildcats, the Quakers took every match but No. 6 singles, with little trouble. The Blue Hens were a tougher opponent, as they opened play by taking two of three doubles matches, and No. 1 singles in straight sets. Penn won the final five matches to avoid the upset.
The Red and Blue face their toughest tests of the young season in California next week. In addition to 51st ranked UC Irvine, Penn will also take on UC-Riverside, Loyola Marymount and Gonzaga. UC-Irvine is 7-4 on the season, with three of its losses coming against teams ranked in the top 30 in the country, including No. 1 USC. The anteaters have also won four of their last six matches.
UC-Riverside is 3-4 on the season, having dropped their last three matches, including two to ranked opponents. Junior Quoc Doan has been steady at No. 2 singles for the Highlanders, going 5-2 on the season.
Loyola Marymount is only 2-6 on the season but the matchup hold special meeting for head coach Nik DeVore, as he coached the Lions for six years before coming to Penn. This LMU has won two of their last three, beating UC Davis and Saint Mary's College.
Penn's final opponent of the week, Gonzaga, is 4-5 on the season. The Bulldogs, have won their last two matches, defeating Northern Colorado and Lewis-Clark State. Roman Dojcak owns the Zags best record at 6-3, with four of the victories coming at No. 3 singles.
The Quakers play UC-Riverside Monday at 2 p.m., Loyola Marymount Tuesday at 1:30 p.m., Gonzaga Thursday at 12 p.m. and UC-Irvine Friday at 10 a.m. All times are pacific standard time.