Looking to leave its final doubleheader with a winning record in Ivy League play, the Penn women’s tennis team ended its season on a somber note after tough losses to No. 65 Columbia and Cornell.
On Friday, the Lions (13-5, 6-1 Ivy) came to town in what was the Quakers’ (10-8, 2-5) last home match of the season.
The future Ancient Eight champions really took it to the Red and Blue, starting off strong and never looking back in a 4-0 victory.
The day began as the 48th-ranked doubles pair of Bianca Sanon and Kanika Vaidya handed Penn’s No. 44 duo of Sol Eskenazi and Sonya Latycheva their second loss of the season, 8-5.
After winning the doubles point, Columbia proceeded to sweep the next three singles matches before play was suspended,thanks in part to John Legend & Co.
In what was described by coach Sanela Kunovac as their “worst match of the season,” the Quakers failed to go three sets in any match of a losing effort for the first time all year.
Not ones to dwell on the past, the Red and Blue came out focused and prepared for Sunday’s match against Cornell (14-4, 3-4).
Despite being down a match point, Eskenazi and Latycheva managed to eke out a 9-8 victory at first doubles in a grueling match that lasted over an hour and a half.
Combined with an 8-6 victory at third doubles from Jaime Yapp-Shing and Srinidhi Raghavan, Penn took an early 1-0 lead.
But the Quakers relinquished the lead after juniors Stephanie Do and Yapp-Shing dropped the second (6-3, 6-0) and fourth (6-0, 6-4) singles matches, respectively, in straight sets.
Eskenazi then evened the score at 2-2, dismantling Sarah O’Neil, 6-2, 6-3. Eskenazi wasn’t able to play Friday after her match was suspended.
“Sol played one of the smartest matches she has played all year,” Kunovac said.
Unfortunately, Cornell’s Laila Judeh and Lauren Frazier notched wins at fifth and sixth singles to seal the 4-3 win for the Big Red, but the most exciting match of the day was far from being over.
After her two hour deathmatch at doubles, Latycheva found herself embroiled in another grueling competition, eventually winning the third set, 12-10, to complete her comeback (4-6, 6-4, 12-10).
Even with the two losses, the Quakers still met one of their original goals, which, according to coach Kunovac, was “to finish over .500 for the season.”
Combine that with an infusion of fresh blood into the team, and the coach knows the future looks bright for the Red and Blue.
“We are getting two new players who will be in the starting lineup immediately,” Kunovac said.
SEE ALSOComments powered by Disqus
Please note All comments are eligible for publication in The Daily Pennsylvanian.