Tennis shows great potential but drops several close matches
March 12, 2012, 12:19 am · Updated March 12, 2012, 11:35 pm·
For the Penn men’s and women’s tennis teams, the annual spring break trip represents an opportunity to play several challenging matches and gauge their chances in the all-important Ivy League season.
During their respective trips, both teams showed great potential, but dropped several close matches.
The men’s team had five matches in a six-day period over the break. Overall, the Quakers (7-3) played well and showed an ability to fight through adverse conditions. The Red and Blue were particularly impressive in a 5-2 win against Florida Gulf Coast Friday, which lasted almost five hours in sweltering Florida heat.
Penn also beat UMBC and Florida Southern, but lost to Stetson and South Florida before that hard-fought victory.
With a 3-2 record for the week, the Quakers moved into the up to No. 75, nationally. This makes them one of only two ranked Ivy teams, but still far behind No. 26 Harvard.
The women’s team looked confident in their two matches over the break. On Thursday, the Quakers dominated Florida Gulf Coast, winning 5-1. In that match, the Red and Blue won the doubles match and the top three singles matches to quickly clinch victory.
Friday, the Penn women’s team dropped the doubles point and the bottom three singles matches against Florida International. However, the top three singles players, all underclassmen, won in straight sets to keep the match a close 4-3.
Both sides gained valuable match experience during the trip, but showed an inability to finish off opponents in close matches.
On the men’s side, captain Phil Law could not hold on at No. 3 singles against Didrik Berg of Stetson, despite winning the first set. This defeat ended the Quakers’ four game win streak.
For the women, freshman Srinidhi Raghavan lost both of her No. 5 singles matches in three sets.
Both sides will be underdogs come Ivy season and thus will need to learn to win close matches against opponents who may be more talented.