The Daily Pennsylvanian is a student-run nonprofit.

Please support us by disabling your ad blocker on our site.

Against Yale, Penn's Fanda Stejskal teamed with Ryan Harwood to pick up a win at No. 1 doubles, but lost his singles' match to a former pro. (Will Burhop/DP File Photo)

After a tough weekend during which the Penn men's tennis team dropped two close matches to Ivy League rivals, the Quakers now find themselves staring at a long uphill battle. Penn (7-7, 0-2 Ivy League) lost, 4-3, to Yale on Friday, and 5-2 to Brown on Saturday. But there still exists parity among the three teams, as indicated by the large number of tie-breakers and third-sets in both matches. In the end, however, things just didn't go the Quakers' way. Penn started off well against Yale (13-2, 1-1), as junior Fanda Stejskal and sophomore Ryan Harwood picked up a win at No. 1 doubles and the Quakers were leading 5-3 in the No. 2 doubles match. But Yale came back to win the second doubles match, 8-6, and posted a 8-5 win at No. 3 to take the doubles point. In singles action, the Quakers got an easy win from junior Brian Barki, who defeated the Elis' No. 3, David Goldman, 7-6, 6-1. However, the rest of the Penn line-up did not fare so well. At No. 1, Stejskal dropped a tough match to Yale's Steve Berke. Berke took last season off to compete in professional tournaments. The Quakers lost two squeakers at No. 2 and No.4. The Elis' Greg Royce edged Harwood, 7-6, 7-6, and Penn senior co-captain Rob Pringle fell, 1-6, 7-6, 6-1, after earning a match point in the second set. Having clinched the win, the Elis' defaulted their No. 5 and No. 6 singles matches after the first set in order to keep their players fresh for the next day's action against Princeton. The match against Brown (9-7, 1-1) unfolded in much the same way for Penn. After losing the doubles point, the Quakers got wins from Stejskal and senior co-captain Eric Sobotka but lost their other four single matches. Again, each match was closely contested, with Brown capitalizing on more of the big points. "We had a lot of opportunities, but we didn't convert," Penn tennis coach Mark Riley said of both matches. "We played nine tie-breakers and only won two, so there goes the match right there." With the teams in the Ivy League so close in terms of ability, Riley believes that the Quakers are in for more of the same high level of competition. And while the Quakers are disappointed with last weekend's outcome, they still have high hopes for the season. "We dug ourselves a bit of a hole," Sobotka said. "Our backs are up against a wall now. But by no means are we counting ourselves out. I have all the confidence in the world that we can turn things around." The Quakers won't have to wait long to prove that they are indeed still very much in the Ivy League race. They next face Harvard on Friday and Dartmouth on Saturday at the Lott tennis courts.

Comments powered by Disqus

Please note All comments are eligible for publication in The Daily Pennsylvanian.