Another day, another clean victory for Penn men’s tennis.
The Quakers rolled to a comfortable 5-2 victory over Radford at the Hamlin Tennis Courts on Saturday, pushing their record on the season to 10-1. The Red and Blue, currently ranked No. 39 nationally, got solid performances from sophomore Matt Nardella and freshman Josh Pompan en route to the win.
The Quakers kicked off the morning by sweeping the doubles matches, giving themselves a quick 1-0 lead. The duo of Jeremy Court and Nicholai Westergaard led the way, winning a convincing 6-2 set in No. 1 doubles.
However, Penn soon felt the wrath of the day’s toughest opponent: injuries. Junior standout Vim De Alwis, playing in the No. 1 singles slot, had to retire from his match due to a knee injury while freshman Nicholas Podesta sat out the match entirely with a knee injury of his own.
“Our surprises today were kind of on the bad side,” coach David Geatz said. “Vim wasn’t able to finish his match at No. 1 singles, and we were already out or regular No. 1 player (Podesta).”
However, with several star players out of the fold, the Quakers got key contributions further down the ladder. Nardella, playing at No. 4 singles, cruised to a 6-3, 6-1 win.
“Matt played really well today,” Geatz said. “He’s been struggling a bit lately, but it wasn’t a surprise to see him do well.”
Pompan also took care of business in quick fashion, dispatching his No. 5 singles opponent in straight sets, 6-1, 6-1. Jeremy Court also rolled to victory in his No. 2 singles slot.
Sophomore Marshall Sharp had a back-and-forth battle in his No. 6 singles match, but ultimately lost in a tiebreak. After the match, Gaetz acknowledged that Sharp has also been battling leg injuries throughout the morning.
The Quakers will now hurry to the airport and head to New Mexico, where they will square off against Georgia State at 10 am MST on Sunday in the first of a series of games in the Southwest. Considering the squad is already battling significant injuries, Gaetz is quick to acknowledge that it will be a challenging trip.
“It’s going to be a huge test for us. We haven’t even hit a ball outside yet,” the coach said. “It’s going to be a really, really tough transition.”
Thus far in the season, the Quakers have met every challenge with confidence and poise. The days to come will give the Red and Blue yet another chance to prove their mettle.
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