Adam Schwartz’s lead — and the Quakers’ chances at a shutout — were slipping away.
The senior led 3-1 in the third set but soon found himself down 40-love in the fifth game of the set to his opponent, Georgetown’s David Tillem, who was primed to extend the match as a long as he could.
Schwartz won the next three points to tie the game at 40-all before eventually winning the game and taking a commanding 4-1 lead in the set. This marked the turning point in the match for the senior captain.
“With a 3-1 lead, my goal was to make him play every point,” Schwartz said. “I thought to myself ‘If there’s any way I could crank this one out, it would be a plus,’ but if I lost the game, it would be okay since he was up 40-love. When I got that game, I knew that I was in pretty good shape.”
Schwartz’s victory at No. 2 singles was one of many for the Quakers, as Penn defeated Georgetown 7-0 yesterday at the Levy Tennis Pavilion.
The Quakers (5-0) came out strong in their doubles matches, winning all three and capturing the doubles point.
Following the doubles matches, No. 3 and No. 4 singles, Phil Law and Jason Lin, won their matches handily, giving Penn a quick 3-0 lead over the Hoyas (4-3).
“I’m particularly happy with Phil Law and Jason Lin,” coach Nik DeVore said. “After you win the doubles point, you are looking for one or two of your guys to step up and take care of business.
“You are looking for someone to set the trend for the rest of the matches, and Phil Law did that today,” DeVore added.
Law and Lin, both sophomores, played a great deal in their freshman seasons. DeVore and Schwartz both commented about how much the two have matured in one year.
Jason Magnes recorded an impressive victory at No. 5 on the ladder . The freshman has been under the weather recently but still was able to gut out the win in a third set super-tiebreak.
Former Slovakian national champion and new Penn transfer Eugen Brazdil recorded a victory in straight sets at the No. 1 spot. Senior Justen Roth prevailed in a close first set before shutting his opponent out in the second to capture the victory at No. 6 singles for the Quakers.
A great deal of the team’s recent success can be credited to a more intense practice regimen.
“I’m trying to make the practices very competitive,” DeVore said. “We do a lot of situations where players on the team are challenging each other and moving up and down from court to court based on whether they win or lose.”
This competition during practice is heightened by the team’s tremendous depth. Penn carries fourteen players who are all capable of stepping into the lineup.
“The talent level is really good from top to bottom,” DeVore said. “The new young guys are really pushing the older guys. We try to make the practices fun, but we also want them to push each other.”
The Quakers will be pushed further in their upcoming slate of challenging matches. They play a doubleheader this Saturday and will head to California for their spring break trip.
“The schedule is getting tougher from this point on, especially during spring break, where we’re going to play a couple nationally-ranked teams,” DeVore said. “Those matches will really test our guys to see where they’re at.”