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Mens Tennis team versus St. Johns on Friday March 19th Phil Law and Eugen Brazdil Credit: Monica Martin

It may have been a beautiful Friday afternoon at Lott Courts, but the Quakers found themselves caught in a Red Storm.

In a match punctuated by shouts of frustration, code violations and even a coach ejection, the Quakers were handed their first home loss of the season as St. John’s took an early lead and held on tight.

“It was an interesting match — I haven’t seen that before,” sophomore Phil Law said of St. John’s coach Eric Rebhuhn’s ejection. “But I think that coaches and teams being so passionate this time in the season is because this is where you want the wins for sure.”

The Red Storm (3-6) captured the doubles point with wins at doubles No. 1 and 2, and then eventually won four of the six singles matches to earn a 5-2 victory over Penn.

“What really cost us today was losing the doubles,” Penn coach Nik DeVore said. “We were a little flat for whatever reason at one doubles and two doubles, and that gave St. John’s the momentum that they needed.”

However, Penn (10-3) did not go down without a fight. The team pushed St. John’s to the brink in doubles play, and the No. 3 pair of Rob Wong and Adam Schwartz earned an 8-3 victory.

In singles, sophomores Eugen Brazdil and Law both rebounded from their 8-6 doubles loss to win victories over their opponents.

And while the Quakers lost their other four singles contests, senior Justen Roth, sophomore Jason Lin and freshman Jason Magnes all forced a third set in their matches.

“The fight was good,” said DeVore. “I think we could’ve pulled off a win, but sometimes it kind of falls the other way unfortunately.”

Emotions were high throughout the match, with players on both sides oscillating between shouts of dissatisfaction and enthusiastic cheers.

“There was a lot of excitement on the court,” DeVore said. “We were cheering, they were cheering — it’s like we were kind of competing against each other [in cheering].”

Even the coaches, who according to DeVore “get along quite well,” got into it at one point, with Rebhuhn eventually getting tossed.

“It got a little intense because they were going to give a point penalty to one of our players,” DeVore said. “That was me just stepping in saying, ‘I don’t think that’s fair because then we’d be interfering with players competing in the match.’ They ended up giving the point penalty to the coach.”

Despite the loss, the Quakers are staying positive and are looking to take out their frustration on Binghamton, Wednesday.

“We played a tough school like this and you know, it just gets tougher,” said Law. “Hopefully with a little bit of time off until next Wednesday, we’ll have some time off to get used to outdoors.”

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