RICHMOND, VA. - The Penn men's tennis team suffered a 7-0 defeat against No. 26 Virginia Commonwealth on Saturday. The Rams, led by two nationally-ranked singles players as well as doubles pairs, wonthedoublespoint to take a 1-0 lead before putting Penn away with six straight-set victories.
Facing these highly-touted opponents, Penn opted to try some different pairings in doubles to catch VCU off-guard. The strategy didn't faze the Rams however; as their top doubles team claimed an 8-2 win over Nikola Kocovic and Mark Milbrandt. At No. 2, Zach Katz and Austin Kaplan had the only Penn victory of the day, downing Pascal Domnik and Michael Voscek, 8-3.
Alexis Heugas, the No. 72-ranked singles player in the country, opened with a 6-0, 6-4 victory over Kocovic to give VCU a 2-0 lead. Wins against Vim De Alwis and Katz secured the victory for the Rams with the necessary four points. The sweep continued as freshmen Kaplan and Blaine Willenborg fell in close fashion. The final match of the day to wrap up was Ismael Lahlou taking on Max Wennakowski, the No. 21-ranked singles player in the country. Though Lahlou battled hard, Wennakowski was able to come away with a 6-4, 6-3 win over the Penn sophomore.
The Quakers continue their stretch of five consecutive road matches next Saturday, taking on St. John's on March 23 at 4 p.m. The match with the Red Storm will be the Penn's final non-conference test of the season before opening Ivy League play at Princeton on March 30.
1. Alexis Heugas/Dylan McCloskey (VCU) def. Nikola Kocovic/Mark Milbrandt (P); 8-2
2. Austin Kaplan/Zach Katz (P) def. Pascal Domnik/Michal Voscek; 8-3
3. Alejandro Argente/Jaime Vazquez (VCU) def. Kyle Roth/Sylvester Wee; 8-6
1. Heugas (VCU) def. Kocovic (P); 6-0, 6-4
2. Max Wennakoski (VCU) def. Ismael Lahlou (P); 6-4, 6-3
3. Argente (VCU) def. Katz (P); 6-2, 6-4
4. Voscek (VCU) def. Blaine Willenborg (P); 6-3, 6-3
5. Vazquez (VCU) def. Vim De Alwis (P); 6-2, 6-3
6. McCloskey (VCU) def. Kaplan (P); 6-1, 6-4
Order of Finish: 1, 5, 3, 6, 4, 2