As Penn men’s tennis coach David Geatz says, “If you lose and don’t learn anything from it, then you lost twice.”
After losing a tough three-set match, No. 1 singles player, Ivan Turudic, threw his racket, causing a point and game penalty against his teammate, Nikola Kocovic.
The mistake was “game changer,” according to Geatz, and Kocovic was unable to break back and win his crucial match, as the Quakers fell, 5-2, to George Washington (2-3) on Saturday at Levy Pavilion.
“That’s unacceptable and that can’t ever happen in Penn tennis,” Geatz said.
Although the Penn men’s tennis team (1-1) lost, Geatz is still confident that the team will walk away with a lot to work on.
In particular, Geatz explained that the Quakers need to “work on being a little bit more aggressive and taking it to [their opponents] a bit more.” He also explained that he will look to shuffle the doubles lineup after losing all three doubles matches.
This year, the Red and Blue are preparing for a more difficult non-conference schedule, having shed many of their weaker opponents from previous years.
“We might as well play the best to get ready,” Geatz said. “I don’t know how much it helps you come out and beat a team 7-0.”
Senior Jason Lin agreed with Geatz.
“[A more difficult schedule] makes us more mentally tough,” Lin said. “Against weaker teams, when you go out there, you are expected to win already.”
Both Lin and Geatz pointed to Eugen Brazdil’s performance at No. 6 singles as an example of the mental toughness that the entire team hopes to dislpay. Facing set point at 5-2 in the first set, the Senior rallied to win 7-5 and finish off the match in straight sets.
“I’m sure last year, he would have folded easily and this year he fought back and won that match,” Lin said.
On the women’s side, however, coach Sanela Kunovac, has a different philosophy with regards to the schedule. Before entering the bulk of difficult, non-conference matches, Kunovac scheduled two easier opponents, Drexel and California University of Pennsylvania of Division II.
On Sunday, the Penn women’s tennis team beat California University of Pennsylvania, who is currently ranked No. 11 in the nation among DII teams, 5-2 at Levy Pavillion.
Kunovac believes that it is important to play competitive matches in which her team is the favorite.
“When you feel that you have to win, how do you compete,” Kunovac said of her Quakers (2-0). “It’s easy to play when you have nothing to lose.”
The No. 1 singles player on the women’s team, Sol Eskenazi, says she doesn’t “think about the external things” like expectations during her matches. The freshman, who claims that she is still in “preseason mode,” prefers to focus on improving her own game.
Kunovac was pleased with how her team performed on Sunday.
“I think the key word for us is composure,” she said. “The entire team had a cool head and even when things were going against us in the beginning.”