PHILADELPHIA - Coming of its sixth victory in the non-conference schedule, women's tennis will now begin its Ivy League Season on Saturday against Princeton. Penn picked up its most recent victory against Georgetown this past Friday on the strength of four victories in singles play. The Quakers will now look to carry over the team's success into the Ivy League when the returning Ivy League Champions from a year ago come to Philadelphia. The action on Saturday will get underway at noon.
A season ago, Princeton went a perfect 7-0 in conference matchups on its way to taking the Ivy League title. This year, the Tigers have been faced with a tough non-conference schedule and have battled their way to a 7-7 record, with several losses against nationally-ranked teams; Princeton enters this weekend's contest as one of five teams ranked nationally in the Ivy League. The Tigers find themselves checking in as the 55th ranked team in the country this week, which is the fourth best ranking in the league.
Penn will be looking to reverse its fall fortunes against Princeton on Saturday. During the fall season, Penn and Princeton met up four times in singles play, with the Tigers taking all four matches. In doubles, the two teams met just twice and split the two matches. Penn's doubles victory came in the Columbia Invitational Finals. Jaime Yapp-Shing and Alexa Ely teamed up for that tournament and took the doubles title with an 8-6 victory in the finals over their Princeton counterparts.
Connie Hsu, the highest-ranked individual player in the Ivy League, comes into this match with a 36-2 record in singles play, including a perfect 13-0 mark during spring play. Yapp-Shing is currently second on the team in victories with 13 wins, including an 8-2 record this spring. Emma Whitfield also has five victories during the team-dual matches to bring her total to 10 wins on the year. Four Quakers each have eight victories coming into this matchup. Lauren Bridges, Stephanie Do, Daniela DePaoli, and Alexa Ely will all be looking for their ninth victories of the season if they are in the top-6 in singles this weekend.
Despite dropping the doubles point against Georgetown in the last match, Penn is still 22-14 in doubles matches during the spring. Hsu and Ely have teamed up for eight of those victories at number one. Recently, Do and Whitfield have also had success when they have been paired together, going 3-2 in their first five matches together.
Penn will certainly be looking to the home crowd for an advantage this weekend as Katie at the Bat will be in attendance, cheering on their hometown Quakers. Katie at the Bat is an organization that uses athletics to empower young inner-city women to reach their full potential in all aspects of life. The Women's Tennis team has given their time to Katie at the Bat throughout the year and now the girls from Katie at the Bat will have a chance to come to Penn and see their role models in the first Ivy League match of the season.