Quakers W. Tennis split final weekend
Penn beats Cornell Friday in final home game, but falls to Columbia Sunday
April 22, 2012, 11:04 pm · Updated April 23, 2012, 11:32 pm·
Jing Ran | DP
Penn women’s tennis said goodbye to its only senior with a win, but ended the season with a loss in a weekend split.
On Friday, the Red and the Blue played their final home match and next-to-last match of the season against Cornell. The Quakers picked up the win, 5-2, in what turned out to be a grueling four-hour competition in some of the hottest weather Penn has played in this year.
On Sunday, the Red and the Blue would fall to No. 73 Columbia, 6-1, in the Big Apple.
Penn (7-11, 2-5 Ivy) opened Ivy play 0-3, but has since split their last four matches.
“We’ve played well the whole stretch since spring break,” coach Sanela Kunovac said. “So it’s inevitable. If you keep playing well … you’re going to put yourself in situations to win.”
Cornell (9-10, 1-6) got off to a good start Friday, picking up the doubles point. They won two of the three doubles matches, including upsetting Penn’s No. 1 doubles pair of Sol Eskenazi and Jules Rodin, the 44th-best duo in the nation.
Though the Quakers dropped the doubles point, they won all but one of their singles matches.
After Alex Ion and Stephanie Do won their respective matches and the Quakers lost the No. 6 point, the match was knotted up at two apiece.
Penn’s No. 1 Eskenazi would clinch the third point for the Red and the Blue.
After a seemingly sluggish start, Eskenazi found herself in a 4-0 hole in the first set, but would win six of the next seven games — and the tiebreak — to come back and take the set.
“What really helped me was to think that my teammates [were] struggling as well,” Eskenazi said. “I needed to get myself together … So basically they motivated me to come back.”
Eskenazi ended up closing out the match in straight sets.
Soon after Eskenazi won, freshman Srinidhi Raghavan would take the decisive fourth point for the Quakers, winning her three-setter.
Fittingly, the only senior on the team, Daniela DePaoli, would close out the match on Senior Day. After dropping the first set, she won the last two to complete a come-from-behind win and end a four-hour slugfest.
The Lions (13-6, 4-3) dampened the end of the season for Penn. Raghavan would go 2-0 on the weekend, as she picked up the Quakers’ sole win on the day.
This weekend’s split concludes the fourth consecutive season in which Penn has failed to win more than two conference matches. Yet with only one senior departing, Penn has a chance to improve when play resumes in the fall.