Women's Tennis Hosts Lehigh Thursday

Penn Singles Records

Penn Doubles Records

Lehigh records

PHILADELPHIA - Women's tennis gets back into action a little sooner than expected after returning back from its Spring Break last weekend. With Lehigh recently added to the schedule, Penn will now be back in action this Thursday at 4 p.m., resuming a series between two schools that have not met since the 1996 season. Currently, this match is scheduled to be played on the brand-new Hamlin Tennis Center courts.

The Quakers split their two matches in Florida over Spring Break last week. They opened play with a convincing 5-1 win over Florida Gulf Coast after the final match went unfinished with rain in the area. The following day, Penn took one doubles match and each of the top-three singles, but just could come up with the one more needed victory, being edged out by Florida International, 4-3.

Over the Spring Break week, the Quakers got a huge lift at the top of the order as freshman Sol Eskenazi returned back to her No. 1 singles position. She won both her matches in that top position, improving to 5-1 this spring with her only loss coming in a match she was forced to retire from. Overall, she is 12-3 this year. With her return, sophomore Stephanie Do moved back to the No. 2 spot. She came up with two straight-set wins in that position, earning her ninth win of the season. In the spring season, she is now 4-2 at No. 2 singles.

Alex Ion moved back to her typical No. 3 position. She also had two straight-set victories over the break and has now won three straight coming into the match with Lehigh. During her two matches in Florida, she dropped just four games total in her four set wins. Ion is 6-3 overall this spring, including a 5-1 mark at No. 3. She has won a team-high 15 matches so far this year. Daniela DePaoli played No. 4 singles while in Florida. She opened her week with a three-set win against Florida Gulf Coast, which was her eighth win of the season, already tying her season-high for victories that she set last season.

Freshman Srinidhi Raghavan dropped a pair of tight three-set matches at No. 5 singles while in the Sunshine State. She has won three of her first seven matches this spring with those two defeats being her first losses of the year at No. 5. Emma Whitfield held down the No. 6 singles spot in Florida. She took her first match into a third set, but was unable to finish her match due to weather. She has two wins this year. Jules Rodin focused on doubles in Florida, but when she has played singles she is 2-1 at No. 6 and has forced decisive third sets in two of her four losses earlier this season.

With Eskenazi returning, she and Rodin were reunited at the top doubles spot. They won both of the No. 1 doubles matches in Florida, running their record to 5-1 when playing together. Do and Whitfield teamed up at No. 3 doubles for the first time this spring in both matches. This third pairing opened up with an 8-3 against Florida Gulf Coast before ending up with the week split.

Ion played No. 2 doubles in both matches. Against Florida Gulf Coast, she teamed up with Raghavan, trying to pick up their third win as a pair, but fell to 2-2 overall. Against FIU, Ion teamed up with DePaoli for the first time this season. This pairing was also defeated at No. 2 doubles.

Lehigh comes into Thursday looking to break a five-match losing streak. Jenai Bilimoria has a team-best three victories at the No. 1 spot in singles for the Mountain Hawks. Abby Farrell (No. 2/3) and Gabby Drucker (No. 5) also have three wins during the spring season. Lehigh and Penn have just one common opponent on their schedules. The Mountain Hawks lost to Drexel, 6-1, while the Quakers beat Drexel, 7-0, at the beginning of the spring season.

After the match with Lehigh, women's tennis will be back in action next Wednesday, March 21 when Temple comes to Penn for mid-week matchup. The meeting with Temple will be the final non-conference match of the season. Ivy League play will open for the team on Saturday, March 31 at Princeton.

The Series with Lehigh:
All-time series:
Penn is 12-0 vs. Lehigh
At Penn:
The Quakers are 9-0
Last meeting:
October 22, 1996: Penn won, 9-0