At this point in the season, it’s gut-check time for the Penn men’s tennis team.
Although the Quakers (7-5) have played well at times throughout the spring season, there has been a startling difference between the team’s performances at home and on the road.
Undefeated in seven home contests, the Red and Blue have dropped all five of their matches away from Levy Pavilion.
However, the team’s matchup with St. John’s on Saturday gives Penn a chance to end its road woes.
“I think our kids did a pretty good job in practice this week,” coach David Geatz said. “I think that we just need to carry over what we do in practice more into matches and if we do that then we can do well in doubles and do well overall against St. John’s.”
Penn’s match with the Red Storm (2-10) will be the team’s second of five straight on the road after a loss against Virginia Commonwealth last weekend.
On this road swing, the Red and Blue are looking to tighten things up as much as possible, especially with Ivy League play only two weeks away.
“Sometimes you can do something in practice, but it won’t show up in a match and that’s what we want to eliminate,” Geatz said. “Our guys have all the tools, we just need to learn how to use them all.”
Saturday’s matchup may be coming at the perfect time for the Quakers, as the Red Storm have struggled all year long, though St. John’s came out on top when the two met last year.
“They beat us pretty badly last year, so it would be nice to get some revenge this year,” Geatz said.
Geatz’s familiarity with the Red Storm has helped his team prepare this week in practice, giving them confidence going forward.
Nevertheless, it remains to be seen whether Penn will be at full strength when it plays on Saturday.
Sophomore Jeremy Court, one of three returning members from last season’s team, missed last weekend’s match because of tendinitis in his arm.
The injury bug has also hit freshman Austin Kaplan, who developed an injury in one of his hands earlier this week.
“Our players’ health is kind of day by day,” Geatz said. “I hope we have everybody healthy and I think Jeremy is going to be in the lineup, but there’s probably a 50 percent chance [Kaplan] plays.”
Regardless of who takes the court on Saturday, the Quakers know that they have a great opportunity to get moving in the right direction with Ivies on the horizon.
“I don’t think there is one guy on our team who doesn’t truly think that we can win that match this weekend,” Geatz said. “Our guys expect to win.”
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