Many Penn students will enjoy the warm weather of Florida, the Caribbean or some other exotic place over spring break, including the Penn men’s tennis team.
After a home match against Temple (3-8) Sunday, the Quakers will fly out to southern California for four matches and some needed vitamin D. The Quakers (1-5) have struggled in the early going, most recently dropping back-to-back matches to Penn State and Illinois State on Feb. 22 and 23.
The Quakers will play at UC Santa Barbara (3-7) on Mar. 11, followed by matches at San Diego State (6-4), Cal Poly (2-8) and UC Irvine (2-9) before heading back to Philadelphia on Sunday.
Sporting unspectacular records, the four opponents should give the Quakers a chance to pick up some needed victories.
“From what we’ve seen, they’re four good teams with a really tough schedule this year . . . We haven’t gotten off the greatest start,” senior co-captain Zach Katz said. “This is a good opportunity to kind of get the momentum going before Ivies, and normally always do good on Spring Break. Hopefully we can get things going in California.”
The team traveled to northern California last spring break, yet this year’s lineup of southern squads appears to be competitive across the board.
“I just know them from the past. I wanted to upgrade our schedule to make sure that everybody we played was really going to be good and a competitive match,” Penn coach David Geatz said. “All those programs are good, every single one of them. There isn’t one weak team that we’ll play out there. There’s no guaranteed W.”
With several key players still bothered by injuries, and junior Ismael Lahlou out for the season due to back surgery, spring break appears to be a chance for the Red and Blue to nurse their injuries and right the ship before returning for Ivy League season.
“What I hope would happen is that we’d field a whole lineup and everybody’s healthy, but I don’t think that’s going to happen,” Geatz said.
Getting away from one of the worst winters in Philadelphia history is certainly exciting for the Katz and the Quakers.
“[I’m looking forward to] definitely going to some warm weather and just having some free time and getting to enjoy California,” he said.
However, the lack of available outdoor practice time is something the team wishes it could change before leaving.
“The other biggest thing that would really help us is we could’ve practiced one or two days outdoors before we go out there,” Geatz said. “We practiced outside before we went on Spring Break last year, but this year, just no chance.”
Whether that change will make a difference remains to be seen.
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