Despite a long five-game road trip and the challenge of facing a ranked opponent for the second consecutive match, the Penn men’s team did what it has done all spring – they won at home.
Matched up with No. 70 Dartmouth, the Red and Blue (9-8, 1-3 Ivy) picked up their first Ivy League victory of the season, 4-3.
While the Quakers remained undefeated at home with the win, the team has struggled mightily away from Philadelphia. Penn is just 1-8 on the road, including three consecutive road losses to begin its conference schedule.
Saturday’s matchup with the Big Green (9-10, 1-2) was tight throughout. The Quakers fell behind twice before finally leveling the match and eventually winning.
Dartmouth scored the opening point of the match when it captured the doubles point. After sophomore Jeremy Court and freshman Blaine Willenborg won their doubles match for Penn, the Big Green won the next two matches to win the doubles point.
Trailing 1-0 entering the singles lineup, things were looking bleak for the Red and Blue. Entering Saturday’s match, the Quakers were 8-0 when they won the doubles point, and 0-8 when falling in doubles action.
While Penn trailed, 2-0, after junior Austin Katz dropped his singles match, the team dominated the rest of the way.
Freshman Vim De Alwis and sophomore Ismael Lahlou captured back-to-back straight sets victories to knot the match up at two apiece.
However, after Court dropped a close match in straight sets, 7-6, 7-6, the Big Green were just one point away from victory.
Still, the Quakers managed to buckle down, and junior Nikola Kocovic’s three-set victory at No. 1 singles leveled the score for the final time, 3-3.
At that point, all eyes were on the No. 4 match between Willenborg and Dartmouth junior Cameron Ghorbani.
Though Ghorbani took the first set in a tiebreak, the rookie from Miami Shores, Fla., came storming back.
Willenborg won the final two sets, 7-5 and 6-4, respectively, to give the Red and Blue their first victory in the Ancient Eight this season.
Despite the win, Penn’s toughest challenge this weekend comes on Sunday afternoon, when No. 19 Harvard (14-4, 2-0) visits the Hamlin Tennis Center.Comments powered by Disqus
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