PHILADELPHIA - Women's tennis is off to a 2-0 start after a 5-2 win over California (Pa.), the 11th-ranked team nationally at the Division II level. The Quakers' win marks the first time the Vulcans (4-1) have been beaten this season.
Penn started out strong, capturing two of the three doubles matches to take that point and carried that early momentum into singles, winning four of the six individual matches. The Quakers took the first and third doubles matches for the early lead and captured all four of their singles victories in straight sets.
Sol Eskenazi and Jules Rodin teamed up at No. 1 doubles. This was the first time that this duo played together this season, but the two showed no signs of unfamiliarity as they beat the sixth-ranked doubles pairing in Division II, 8-4.
The Quakers then clinched the doubles point at No. 3 when Daniela DePaoli and Emma Whitfield teamed up for their third victory in five matches that the two have played together. Stephanie Do and Alex Ion dropped a tough match to the 15th-ranked doubles team in Division II, 8-3, but Penn took the early point by virtue of the other two wins.
After missing the match against Drexel, Whitfield, who was an ITA Regional qualifier in the fall season, struggled in her first singles match back from injury at No. 6. Srinidhi Raghavan gave Penn its first singles win with her 6-0, 6-3 victory. She now has four wins on the season and is a perfect 2-0 in team duals.
After a back-and-forth first set that Eskenazi would eventually win, 6-4. Penn's No. 1 cruised in the second set, not allowing a game to 12th-ranked singles player in the Division II ranks, runningher record to 9-2 so far this season. Ion picked up her second consecutive win at No. 3 for the Quakers. She took her match in straight sets, winning both 6-3. She now has a team-high 11 wins as a freshman.
DePaoli also had a tightly contested first set, but came out with a tiebreak win, 7-6, to go up a set early. In the second set, the senior allowed just two games to her opponent for her seventh win of the season. Do, matched up against the 33rd-ranked player nationally in Division II, suffered a tough loss at No. 2, falling 6-3 in both of her sets.
The Quakers will continue their string of home matches to start the spring season next Saturday and Sunday against Richmond and Maryland. Saturday's match with Richmond will get underway at 11 a.m., while Sunday's match against Maryland has a noon start time.
Penn 5, California (Pa.) 2
No. 1: Sol Eskenazi/Jules Rodin (P) def. Martina Rubesova/Franziska Steinhardt (C), 8-4
No. 2: Annabel Pieschl/Jade Pondicas (C) def. Stephanie Do/Alex Ion (P), 8-3
No. 3: Daniela DePaoli/Emma Whitfield (P) def. Ramona Czakon/Anastassiya Zherdeva (C), 8-6
No. 1: Sol Eskenazi (P) def. Martina Rubesova (C), 6-4, 6-0
No. 2: Annabel Pieschl (C) def. Stephanie Do (P), 6-3, 6-3
No. 3: Alex Ion (P) def. Jade Pondicas (C), 6-3, 6-3
No. 4: Daniela DePaoli (P) def. Franziska Steinhardt (C), 7-6, 6-2
No. 5: Srinidhi Raghavan (P) def. Anastassiya Zherdeva (C), 6-0, 6-3
No. 6: Ramona Czakon (C) def. Emma Whitfield (P), 6-1, 6-0