After three consecutive losses to three tough opponents, the Penn men's tennis team was due for a turning of the tides. The Quakers got just that against Richmond on Friday, as they defeated the Spiders, 6-1. In the match, Penn got straight-set victories from five of their six singles players. At No. 1 and No. 2 singles, junior Fanda Stejskal and sophomore Ryan Harwood cruised to easy wins for Penn, posting scores of 6-2, 6-2, and 6-1, 6-2, respectively. Junior Brian Barki defeated the Spiders' David Donn 6-4, 7-6, in a streaky match at the No. 3 position after falling behind 3-0 in the second set. Sophomore Andy Kolker and junior Kevin Strouse added convincing victories for the Red and Blue at the No. 4 and No. 5 spots, respectively. The Quakers also won at all three matches to take the doubles point. Harwood and Stejskal teamed to defeat Rob Flader and Todd Parker, 8-2, while Penn's No. 2 and No. 3 doubles each pulled out tight 9-8 victories. Penn's No. 2 doubles team of Barki and co-captain Rob Pringle was down 3-1 in the tiebreaker, but rebounded to claim the victory. "The match felt decent, but it was pretty close," Barki said. "Even though second and third doubles matches were close, I think it's a good sign that they came up with the wins," Harwood said. "It's shows that we're getting tougher mentally." Penn's lone loss of the day came from Pringle, who returned to the lineup after taking three weeks off to recover from a foot injury. He dropped a close match to Parker by a score of 6-3, 7-6(5). "The first set I played in three weeks was Thursday," Pringle said. "The foot injury actually wasn't the problem. The problem was my lungs. But I'm encouraged because the foot didn't bother me in the match." Despite his loss, the Quakers were happy to have Pringle back on the court after weathering a trio of tough opponents without him. Unfortunately, the Red and Blue were still without their complete lineup on Friday, as Penn co-captain Eric Sobotka, the Quaker's usual No. 3, was out with the flu. Penn men's tennis coach Mark Riley believes the Quakers' win over Richmond reflects their growth thus far this season. "Doubles looked a lot calmer under pressure, and I think that shows the effects of close doubles matches with Kansas," Riley said. "[The team] played a pretty complete match. And we'll be even more prepared for a match of higher caliber in the future." The Quakers next face Swarthmore and Haverford at Levy Tennis Pavilion on Thursday.Comments powered by Disqus
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