The inaugural City 6 Tournament went the host’s way in convincing fashion.
Penn men’s tennis beat Drexel, 5-0, and topped Saint Joseph’s, 6-1, at the Levy Tennis Pavilion en route to a first-place finish in what head coach David Geatz hopes will become a yearly event.
The Quakers sat through a first-round bye before taking on the Dragons in the semifinals. The Red and Blue turned their neighbors aside in a five-match shutout, with the most convincing performances coming from Penn’s freshmen. Nicolas Podesta won his singles match 6-0, 6-1, while Josh Pompan beat his opponent 6-0, 6-3.
“I wish I could recruit this freshman class every year — we’d win the Ivies,” Geatz said, while singling out Pompan and Podesta as players he expects to soon be amongst “the very top players in the league.”
Geatz wasn’t just pleased with the rookies, however. “Everybody — and I mean everybody, from one to 14 — everybody played very well,” the coach said.
Penn’s success continued into its match in the finals against St. Joseph’s, in which the team dominated the Hawks, losing just one singles match and one doubles match in the victory.
Once again, Pompan and Podesta scored decisive singles victories, though each also added wins in doubles as well against St. Joseph’s. Senior Jeremy Court — one of three seniors on the roster — picked up his second and third wins of the day against the Hawks, including a doubles win with Podesta as his partner.
When pressed to find an area in which Penn could have performed better during its comfortable victory, the coach settled on doubles, where the Red and Blue won three out of four matches.
The tournament was a strong start to the Quakers’ season, and the program hopes it is a tradition that can be carried on in the years to come.
The Red and Blue will head to State College to take on No. 26 Penn State this Sunday, kicking off a long regular season that will conclude in April when the Quakers visit Columbia, defending Ivy League champions.
The Red and Blue finished sixth in the Ancient Eight last year and have not won a title since they shared the league championship with Columbia in 2007.
While the team has yet to get into the meat of its schedule, the goal is apparent.
“We want to make the NCAA tournament,” Geatz said. “We want to be one of the top 40 teams in the country and get in that tournament.”
Sunday’s match with Penn State will be the team’s next step on that journey.
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