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Sophomore Manfredi Graziani prepares to return the ball in a rally against Columbia on April 7.

Credit: Carly Zhao

Penn’s men’s tennis, ranked 55th nationally, struggled to find its footing in the team's matches against No. 10 Columbia on April 7, ending the weekend with a 4-0 loss.

The team started off the weekend with a showdown against No. 28 Cornell on April 5. The Quakers put up a valiant fight but ultimately conceded a 4-0 defeat to the Big Red (15-5, 2-1 Ivy). The loss marked the Red and Blue's (14-10, 0-3 Ivy) second loss in Ivy League play after losing 4-1 to No. 30 Princeton (19-6, 2-1 Ivy). The loss also dropped the Quakers to a 2-5 record on the road.

The turnaround after the disappointing outing against Cornell was fast. Two days later, Penn retook the court against yet another ranked Ancient Eight opponent: Columbia (16-3, 2-1 Ivy). Once again, the Quakers were unable to upset the Lions, succumbing to a 4-0 defeat.

Columbia got off to a strong start by clinching the doubles point with wins at the No. 3 and No. 1 positions. Columbia’s Theo Winegar and Michael Zheng defeated Penn sophomore Manfredi Graziani and freshman Parashar Bharadwaj at the top slot, while Columbia’s Alex Kotzen and Henry Ruger secured a victory over Penn sophomore Kian Vakili and junior Tal Goodman in the third slot. 

Moreover, several matches were left unfinished. Penn sophomore Matthew Rutter found himself in the midst of the seventh game of his second set at No. 4, Penn junior Baylor Sai in the ninth game of his second set at No. 3, and Graziani was in his seventh game of the second set when his match at No. 1 was halted.

In singles play, Columbia further solidified its dominance, with Kotzen, Ruger, and Hugo Hashimoto claiming victories at the No. 2, No. 6, and No. 5 positions, respectively. These efforts effectively clinched the match for the Lions.

Looking ahead, Penn will have an opportunity to regroup and recalibrate as it gears up for upcoming matches against conference opponents Yale and Brown next weekend in Philadelphia. Yale will be the first unranked league opponent that the Quakers will face off against, easing Penn into its easier stretch of Ancient Eight play. 

With both matches slated for a 1 p.m. start, the Quakers will be aiming to rebound and secure pivotal victories as they continue their journey through Ivy League competition.