W. Tennis Follows First Ivy Loss With Win Over Dartmouth
The Red and Blue women's tennis team saw its bid at an undefeated Ivy
season end in a flurry of Crimson before scoring big against some
Penn's women, entering the weekend ranked No. 41 in the nation and
undefeated in Ivy League play, could not make enough shots to upset the
No. 15 Harvard Crimson, losing 5-2. The Quakers rebounded Saturday
afternoon, however, easily handling the Dartmouth Big Green, 6-1.
Due to a steady drizzle Friday afternoon, the highly anticipated match between the Ivy's only remaining undefeated teams was forced indoors.
Playing under the bubble at Levy Tennis Pavilion, Harvard struck first, sweeping the three matches for the doubles point. Penn's second and third doubles combos came close to reversing the result, but were ultimately edged out, 9-7 and 8-6, respectively.
The Crimson carried its momentum into the singles, winning four of the six matches and asserting itself as the Ivy League's queen of the courts.
Penn's Julia Koulbitskaya beat Elsa O'Riain in straight sets, 6-3, 6-2, at the number two spot, and Caroline Stanislawski won in more dramatic fashion, 6-3, 2-6, 1-0 (9-7), for the Quakers' only two points.
A recent hot streak for Alexis Plukas warranted a slight lineup swap that did not pay dividends for the team at the end of the day. Plukas moved up to the No. 3 spot, losing, 6-2, 6-0; Michelle Mitchell dropped her match at No. 4, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2.
"Alexis played a little nervous, and the other girl played very tough," said coach Mike Dowd of the two girls. "Mitchell played a very tough match. She got a little tired in the third set, and that was the difference."
Despite the loss, Dowd commended his girls on their performance.
"I felt we played hard. I think we came out well prepared and played a good match."
The Quakers returned to the Lott Tennis Courts Saturday at noon to face Ivy cellar-dweller Dartmouth.
The Big Green saw any hopes of upsetting the Red and Blue for its first conference win vanish after losing a decisive No. 3 doubles match, 8-6.
"I think we were a little flat in the doubles, and, luckily, we played three a little tougher than them, [which] gave us the point," Dowd said. "Since we got a little scared in the doubles, we woke up and played well in the singles."
In Penn's five wins at singles, all came in straight sets. Top player Yulia Rivelis was quickest off the court, taking care of Dartmouth's Megan Zebroski, 6-1, 6-4.
Koulbitskaya, Mitchell, Stanislawski at No. 5 and Sara Schiffman at No. 6 soon followed suit, losing a measly fourteen games combined between their eight sets to secure a Penn victory.
Plukas' performed better in her new role but eventually fell to Ann Snow, 6-3, 2-6, 1-0 (9-7) to give Dartmouth its only point of the match.
Penn, 4-1 in the Ancient Eight, will now prepare for its weekend finale versus the New York Ivies.
Schiffman, Stanislawski and Raluca Ciochina will play their final home match on Friday when the Red and Blue host Cornell. The Quakers close out the regular season the following afternoon when they travel north to face Columbia.