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Although the Penn men’s tennis team goes to southern California every spring break in search of sun and tough competition, this year it returned with something far more important: team chemistry.

The Red and Blue went 2-2 in their four matches last week, defeating California-Riverside, 7-0, and Gonzaga, 5-2, while suffering its first losses of the season against both Loyola Marymount and California-Irvine by the score of 5-2.

“We won the matches that we were supposed to win, and the matches we lost we were supposed to lose,” said starting freshman Jason Magnes.

More important than the final results, however, was the bonding experience that the Quakers (9-2) found during their trip.

The Penn men’s tennis team is particularly diverse, featuring players from three continents and using freshmen, sophomores and seniors in the starting lineup. This diversity, in addition to the sport’s individualistic nature, makes it difficult for the team to build the unity typical of most athletic squads.

Magnes said the trip was vital to the development of team chemistry.

“Spending time off the court with other players … translates to trusting them when it comes to the matches,” he explained.

The Quakers will need their newfound unity during Ivy League play, which begins in less than two weeks.

“The Ivy League is really going to be a grind,” Magnes said. “We’re going to have to fight to win those matches.”

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