PHILADELPHIA – After last year’s victory and a strong performance during a scrimmage with Princeton before the season, the University of Pennsylvania men’s tennis team is hoping to continue the trend and repeat the outcome on Saturday when the No. 57 Quakers travel to New Jersey to meet the Ivy rival at 1 p.m. The Red and Blue (14-3) have begun this season with the best record before Ivy play, since going 10-1 in 2011, and they’re looking to add to it with a second consecutive win over the No. 28 Tigers (15-4). Due to the weather, the match will be held indoors at Jadwin Gymnasium and can also be seen on the Ivy League Digital Network. The men were then scheduled to conclude their weekend and nonconference slate against St. John’s on Sunday, but the match has been postponed.
Princeton is fresh off a strong USD Challenge appearance that saw the Tigers take down then-No. 22 Harvard 4-3 in an Ivy League preview, but Penn is coming off some momentum of its own, after dominating Temple and Claremont-Mudd-Scripps this weekend by scores of 5-0 and 6-1, respectively.The latter was highlighted by the junior Austin Kaplan and freshman Nicholai Westergaard winning No. 1 doubles in a final set tiebreaker 10-7, even though the Quakers had already won the overall match.
While Kaplan and Westergaard may have played one of the most exciting and entertaining matches of the day, three others -- freshman Nicolas Podesta, freshman Josh Pompan, and junior Blaine Willenborg – also made statements on Saturday. Two more wins at No. 1 singles for Podesta puts him at 8-0 this spring, while Pompan leads the team with most wins at 14-2 with Willenborg right behind at 12-1. Their current match-win streaks stand at 11 and 10, respectively.
Last year’s 4-1 win over Princeton in the Hecht Tennis Center was the first win in the series for the Red and Blue since a 5-2 win at Princeton in 2007. Penn took a commanding win over the Tigers, who have a strong hold of the series at 88-14-2, by taking No. 4, 5, and 6 singles along with No. 1 and 2 doubles.