PHILADELPHIA – After grinding out a 4-3 victory over Temple last Friday, the University of Pennsylvania women’s tennis team faces Florida International University this Friday, beginning at 11:30 a.m. inside the Hecht Tennis Center. The 11:30 a.m. start time is a change from the previously scheduled start time of 3 p.m.
Follow the Penn women’s tennis team (1-0) on Twitter – @PennWTennis and Facebook.
SCOUTING FIU: The Panthers are 2-0 to begin their spring season, with 4-3 wins over Liberty and Stetson at home. The trip to Philadelphia will be FIU’s first road match of the spring, and the Panthers will continue north after playing Penn, facing St. John’s on Saturday and fellow Ivy Yale on Monday. In their previous two matches FIU won four singles matches after being unable to clinch the doubles point. The Panthers are led by senior Yana Koroleva and junior Carlotta Orlando.
THE SERIES WITH FIU: This will be just the third match all-time between the Quakers and Panthers. The series is currently tied 1-1, with Penn falling, 4-3, in 2012 and winning, 6-3, in 1998. Both of the previous meetings have taken place at FIU in Miami, Fla.
LAST MATCH CLINCHER VS. TEMPLE: Freshman Lina Qostal played the hero for the Quakers in the spring opener with the Owls, clinching the overall match point in the third set 6-1, 6-7(5), 6-3. Watch Qostal’s clinching point by clicking here.
OTHER SINGLES WINS VS. TEMPLE: Penn claimed three other singles matches against the Owls last Friday. Junior Sonya Latycheva won her singles match in the second position with a very physical and dynamic performance, 6-4, 6-4, while freshman Ria Vaidya won her singles match 6-1, 6-4 in the sixth position, both Latycheva and Vaidya earning points. In the seventh position freshman Nicole Berkman won her match 6-0, 6-4.
FRESHMEN GO 5-0 IN FIRST SPRING MATCH: In addition to the three singles wins by Qostal, Vaidya, Berkman, in doubles play, Qostal teamed up with senior Sol Eskenazi to win 6-2 in the top doubles position, while Vaidya won with sophomore Kana Daniel in the second position, 6-2.
PENN’S FALL SEASON: The Penn women competed in four events this fall, including hosting the annual Cissie Leary Invitational at the Hamlin Tennis Center. The Quakers traveled to the William & Mary Invitational, along with the Princeton Invitational, before sending a group of individuals to the ITA Regionals host by Yale. Those players were senior Alexandra Ion, junior Sonya Latycheva, sophomore Kana Daniel, and freshman Lina Qostal.
TOP RETURNING PLAYERS: Penn will look to its seniors Sol Eskenazi and Alexandra Ion to lead the way, while also welcoming back junior Sonya Latycheva, and sophomores Kana Daniel and Luba Vazhenina. Last year, Eskenazi was named first-team All-Ivy in singles and doubles, while Daniel was recognized as a first-team All-Ivy doubles player. This fall, Danieladvanced to the fourth round of singles play in the ITA Regionals.