PHILADELPHIA -Looking to close out five consecutive home matches with five wins, the University of Pennsylvania women's tennis team will host Maryland on Saturday at the Hecht Tennis Center. Saturday will be the Quakers final contest at home before they head on a tour of the Lone Star State over spring break, playing four matches around the state of Texas.
Earning their first appearance in the ITA rankingsthis week, the No. 65 Quakers have been on a roll of late, winning four straight matches, including a triumph over No. 57 Old Dominion.
They've gotten contributions throughout the ladder this season with Kana Daniel nailing down the top spot with a 3-0 record, Sonya Latycheva has played in the second and third spots and won three of her last four matches, and freshman Marta Kowalska has been victorious the last three times she's taken the court in the third and fourth positions.
SCOUTING MARYLAND:It's been a tough start to 2016 for the Terrapins. They stand at 2-4 after starting the season as the No. 66 team in the country. After back-to-back losses at the ITA Kick-Off Weekend to Columbia and BYU, the Terps fell to No. 75. After a win over Robert Morris, they fell in three straight, including a 6-1 loss to fellow Ivy leaguers, Harvard, leaving them unranked for the last two weeks.
THE SERIES WITH MARYLAND:The Quakers lead the series over Maryland, 16-14, but the Terrapins have won the last six matchups, including a 5-2 victory last season in College Park. The Red and Blue’s last victory came on the road in 2008, a 4-3 win.
LAST TIME OUT AGAINST MARYLAND:On the road at 54th-ranked Maryland, Penn finished the weekend off with a split, falling 5-2 to the Terrapins after defeating Richmond 5-2 on in Philadelphia. Penn (5-2) dropped the doubles point for just the second time all season, and trailed Maryland early, 1-0. The Quakers held the advantage at the beginning of singles play, winning the first set in four matches. Senior Sol Eskenazi, juniorSonya Latycheva, freshmanLina Qostal, and sophomoreLuba Vazheninaeach led their individual match early on. Of the four, Latycheva was the only one able to take advantage of the early lead against Maryland (6-4), winning her individual match in straight sets 6-3, 6-4. In the third position Penn’sKana Danieldropped her first set before rallying back to win in three 1-6, 6-2, 6-1.
DOUBLING UP:The doubles pair of Sonya Latycheva and Kana Daniel have won their last five matches, with their last loss coming to Alabama and the No. 48 pair in the country,Andie Daniell and Erin Routliffe. Over the four-game win streak, Penn has earned the doubles point three times, only conceding to Rutgers.
UNBLEMISHED DANIEL:Junior Kana Daniel has competed in the top spot for the Quakers and carries a 3-0 record. However, she's been even better than even her record portrays. Daniel has had three matches go unfinished this season, two of which she had a match point. The only match she was not winning when it concluded was against the No. 41 player in the nation, Alabama's Andie Daniell. Daniel was one set away from forcing a decisive third set when the match was called.