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Despite the disappointment of two cancelled matches, freshman Nicole Ptak and the Penn women's tennis team managed a 1-1 record over spring break. The Quakers lost to Tulane, 5-4, but beat Richmond, 5-2. (Dalton Cox/DP File Photo)

The Penn women's tennis team headed into spring break in the midst of a tailspin. Consecutive 5-2 losses to Penn State and Eastern Michigan had the team reeling from its initial 3-1 start. Wins over the next week, however, were not going to be easy to come by, as a trio of ranked opponents -- No.50 Southern Methodist, No.47 Tulane and No. 33 Florida International -- as well as a highly regarded Richmond team loomed on the schedule. Following the cancellation of the SMU match -- the Mustangs coach accidentally scheduled Penn instead of Penn State -- and the rainout of the Florida International contest, the Red and Blue split its only two completed matches. Penn lost to Tulane, 5-4, before surmounting Richmond, 5-2. With the SMU match cancelled, the Quakers headed to New Orleans to square off with the Green Wave on March 13. Penn got off to a positive start, capturing the doubles point with victories by its first and second doubles. No. 1 Sanela Kunovac and Rachel Shweky proved victorious 8-5, while No. 2 Shubha Srinivasan and Louani Bascara solidified the point with a 9-7 win of their own. But Penn was only able to triumph in two singles matches, as victories by Nicole Ptak (3-6, 6-3, 6-4) and Jolene Sloat (2-6 7-5 6-2) left the Quakers one point short and with another disappointing defeat. Next up for the Red and Blue was Florida International and the No. 33 Golden Panthers. Amidst hovering clouds and a dark sky, Penn got off to an early lead. The Quakers' plight, however, would not end on this day, as rain washed out the match, dashing Penn's hopes of upsetting the Golden Panthers. The losing streak would finally come to a close on March 18, when Penn dominated Richmond for a decisive 5-2 victory. Despite having to compete with a seemingly patchwork lineup, their roster ravaged by injuries suffered during the road trip, the Red and Blue still made easy work of the Spiders. "We were like a dying breed," Shweky said. "But we had the will to win and we did it." With the losing streak over, Penn is optimistic that the ship has been righted. "We're finally coming together as a team," Ptak said. "We're now over the hump and ready to continue winning.

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