PHILADELPHIA – The University of Pennsylvania men’s tennis team will look to continue its momentum and add to its 3-0 spring record in a pair of home contests this weekend, when the No. 51 Quakers host Furman on Friday and William & Mary on Saturday. This weekend’s action will take place in the recently renovated Levy Tennis Center and both matches will begin at 3 p.m.
Breaking into ITA Top 75
On Tuesday, the Intercollegiate Tennis Association released its weekly Top 75 team rankings, and for the first time since 2012 and second time since Albert G. Molloy Head Coach of Men’s Tennis David Geatz took over at the helm, the Red and Blue broke onto the list. Penn made its debut tied at No. 51 with Purdue and is the fourth-highest Ivy team in the ITA rankings.
The Quakers earned this week’s spot on the list after a road win over then-No. 16 Penn State, 5-2. Considered as “the biggest upset of the year” by the ITA, it was the first time the Red and Blue defeated the Nittany Lions since 2006, 4-0, at the ECAC Championships.
Penn earned the doubles point, in the victory over PSU. Senior captain Jeremy Court and freshman Nicolas Podesta sealed the deal with a 7-5 win at No. 1 after junior captain Vim De Alwis and sophomore Matt Nardella won, 6-2, at No. 3.
Nardella quickly gave the Quakers their second point with a win at No. 4 singles, but the Nittany Lions responded with wins at No. 2 and No. 3. It would be the only points Penn State would earn on the day, as Podesta and freshman Josh Pompan clinched the winning points at No. 1 and No. 5, respectively. Junior Blaine Willenborg added the icing on the cake with a three set win at No. 6.
In the spring home opener, Furman swept USC Upstate, 7-0, for the first win of the season. After winning two doubles matches, the Paladins went on to win each of the singles flights, only needing two sets to do so.
Penn will be Furman’s fifth ranked opponent so far, as the Paladins played Denver, UCF, South Carolina, and Georgia Tech earlier in the season.
The Series with the Paladins
Friday’s meeting will be just the second time in program history that the two teams have played. Furman won in the first outing on the court in 2006 with a score of 5-2.
William & Mary (6-3)
The Tribe most recently split a doubleheader after falling in a tough match with Brown, 5-2, before blanking Morgan State, 7-0. Against Brown, William & Mary’s freshman No. 1 singles player Christian Cargill defeated Justin To in two sets (7-5, 6-3) and also defeated To and Gregory Garcia with teammate Will Juggins at No. 1 doubles, 6-1.
Penn will also be William & Mary’s fifth ranked opponent this spring, as the Tribe has already played Florida, Harvard, Brown, and Princeton*.
*Before the Quakers see the Tribe on Saturday, William & Mary will play Princeton on Friday.
The Series with the Tribe
Saturday will mark only the ninth time that the two teams have met on the court. William & Mary won the first meeting in 1945, 6-3. Penn claimed its first win in 1960 with a score of 7-2. The last time the Quakers and the Tribe met was in 2012, with the Red and Blue winning, 6-1.