kowalska
Photo: Luke Yeagley / The Daily Pennsylvanian

For Penn women’s tennis, Saturday started off with a bang, but in the end, the Quakers were forced to go home quietly in defeat.

Playing in its first Ivy League and outdoor home match of the year, Penn raced out to an early lead, but ultimately couldn’t hold on, falling 5-2 to rival Princeton. The loss ended a hot streak for the Quakers in which they had won 6 of their last 7 matches.

While it was a tough loss for the Red and Blue (7-7, 0-1 Ivy), the day got off to a promising start as Penn grinded out the opening doubles point. After Penn and Princeton (10-6, 1-0) split the first two doubles’ sets, the No. 3 doubles pair of sophomore Marta Kowalska and senior Luba Vazhenina proved their mettle to pull out a 6-3 victory over the Tigers.

From that point on, though, things started to go downhill fast for the Quakers.

Forced to play right after wrapping up her doubles win, Vazhenina couldn’t maintain her momentum in the no. 6 singles match as she was defeated 6-2, 6-2 in straight sets.

The Quakers rebounded momentarily with senior Kana Daniel succeeding in her No. 1 singles match 6-2, 6-4, but from there, it was all Princeton. The Tigers swept the day’s four final matches to leave University City with a commanding victory.

With Princeton picking up right where they left off after winning last year’s Ivy League title, the Red and Blue shouldn’t be too discouraged by Saturday’s result. The Quakers were entering Saturday as underdogs, but still managed to make the Tigers sweat it out from the very start.

Next week, Penn will have a chance for redemption against lowly Columbia (4-11, 0-1) and barring a loss against the Lions, the Quakers have no reason for alarm. The season is still young and the Quakers have more than enough time to turn their opening bang into a deafening rumble. 

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