After this spring break, coach Michael Dowd may want to consider playing all of Penn's future games in San Diego.
The southwestern locale, known for its scenic beaches and temperate weather, was kind to the women's tennis team during its seven-day, five-game California road trip.
After losing their first two matches of the trip at Long Beach State and UC Irvine, the Quakers roared back. The Red and Blue dominated all three of its opponents in the San Diego Invite, defeating San Francisco, San Diego and Saint Mary's in three consecutive days.
Dowd reflected on a week of intense, high-energy tennis.
"We played a lot of tennis," he said. "The matches we played were all at a level where they're all pushing each other. It was very competitive."
Dowd hopes that the No. 40 Quakers (9-3) will benefit from the experience and momentum they gained during the California trip.
"We're trying to get ready for the Ivy League season that's coming up in a few weeks," he said. "That was our goal."
Penn's week out West was not lacking in outstanding individual performances. The Quakers proved that their youth is one of their greatest assets, with freshman phenom Ekaterina Kosminskaya and rising sophomore Lauren Sadaka combining for a 10-0 singles record over the course of the week.
With her strong showing during the trip, Kosminskaya, who earlier in the year endured tendinitis and a pulled stomach muscle, rewarded her coach's faith in her yet again. Dowd's early-season decision to start the young Moscow native in the Quakers' top spot continues to pay huge dividends.
Dowd acknowledged that fatigue began to set in on the Quakers more with each passing match. He credited his team's strong top-to-bottom lineup for enabling them to succeed, even toward the end of the week.
"I think we got tired - maybe some tendinitis creeping up," he said. "But we have such good depth and we were able to haul some players out of certain matches to keep other people fresh."
Inspired by the resiliency and discipline his team showed, Dowd hopes his team can pull something from the 3-2 campaign.
"I think the lesson to learn is that anything can happen on a given day.you have got to be ready to play."Comments powered by Disqus
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