After earning nine points across its first taste of Ivy League competition with wins over Yale and Brown last weekend, Penn men’s tennis saw freshman Kyle Mautner record the team’s only victory of the weekend as the Quakers fell on the road, 6-1, to No. 50 Harvard and 4-0 to No. 38 Dartmouth.
The losses proved to be a sour follow-up to a strong showing at February’s ECAC Championships, where the Red and Blue (7-13, 2-2 Ivy) had beaten Dartmouth (15-8, 3-1), 4-3, but lost 5-2 to Harvard (14-10, 2-2). The Quakers also pumped the brakes on momentum the team may have accumulated in its triumphs over Ivy cellar-dwellers Yale and Brown.
On Saturday against Harvard, the matches were closer than they appeared on the scorecard. The 84th-ranked doubles combo of senior Austin Kaplan and sophomore Nicholai Westergaard lost, 6-3. Freshman Dmitry Shatalin and senior Blaine Willenborg met a similar fate, also falling, 6-3, and juniors Matt Nardella and Thomas Spratt succumbed, 7-5.
In singles play, senior Vim De Alwis, sophomore Josh Pompan, and Nardella all took their opponents to third sets before going down. Meanwhile, Mautner topped Harvard’s No. 117 Nicky Hu, 7-5, 3-6, 7-6 (3), for the team’s lone win.
The Quakers didn’t fare much better in New Hampshire, with the Big Green claiming five of the first six sets en route to a 4-0 sweep. Dartmouth’s No. 63 pairing of George Wall and Brendan Tannenbaum swept Kaplan and Westergaard, 6-0, and the 6-2 loss of the duo of Nardella and Spratt clinched the doubles point for Dartmouth.
When the two teams played each other in the ECAC Championships, Mautner made headlines by defeating Dartmouth’s Dovydas Sakinis, the reigning Ivy League Player of the Year. However, the No. 90 Sakinis won the rematch in two sets, 6-4, 6-4. After the matches of Mautner, Pompan and Willenborg concluded, the remaining matches did not finish, as the home team had already captured the win.
Last weekend, both the Crimson and Big Green fell to No. 26 Columbia. Against No. 54 Cornell, Harvard came up short while Dartmouth tallied a win. Penn will have the opportunity to rebound in meaningful matches next weekend, as they face the Bears in Ithaca on Friday and the Lions at the Hamlin Courts on Sunday.
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