The Penn men's tennis team took on a pair of tough opponents at Levy Tennis Pavilion last weekend. While the intensity mounted from one match to the next, the Quakers were unable to pull off the upsets. Penn first squared off against Kansas on Friday, dropping the match 6-1. The Quakers' lone win came at No.1 singles, where junior Fanda Stejskal defeated the Jayhawks' Eleazer Magalla 6-3, 6-0. In other singles action, Penn's No. 2 through No. 4 singles lost in straight sets, while sophomore Andy Kolker and junior Kevin Strouse forced their opponents to three sets before dropping their matches. Penn's doubles also lost hard-fought matches, with No. 1 and No. 3 doubles each earning match points before bowing by the score of 9-7. "I expected it to be a lot closer than it was," Penn sophomore Ryan Harwood said. "The match started off with a lot of intensity, and then it kind of dropped off." For Penn coach Mark Riley, the match against the Jayhawks was especially meaningful because he left as head coach at Kansas to come to Penn last fall. "Kansas was very emotionally charged playing against their old coach," Riley said. "I hate to lose, but it was good to see a team that I put together do well. I built something pretty good at Kansas, and I hope to do the same thing here at Penn." Against New Mexico, the Quakers were again unable to come up with the win. However, they showed marked improvement, as all six singles players were able to win the first set in their matches. In the end, the match went down to the wire. The Lobos picked up the doubles point early, but Penn junior Brian Barki and Kolker posted easy victories at No. 4 and No. 5 singles respectively to give the Quakers a 2-1 lead. The Red and Blue looked to have the win locked up, but the remaining four singles players could not close out their matches, giving New Mexico the 5-2 win. "Obviously, when a guy is down a set, he's going to play better," Penn co-captain Eric Sobotka said. "You've got to give them credit. But we didn't take care of our business." While the Quakers were unable to close out this weekend, the two matches weren't all negative. "Each match we've played, we've improved," Riley said. "New Mexico was the first match this spring -- aside from Colgate -- where we played a more complete match. "If this team plays hard every match, the wins will come."Comments powered by Disqus
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