Princeton men’s tennis (11–5) looks to extend its five-game winning streak on Sunday as the Tigers take on the Monmouth University Hawks (3–9) and Temple University Owls (7–3) at Jadwin Gymnasium.
This weekend, the Tigers are set to complete their last preseason home match-ups in strong standing, winning nine out of their last 11 matches. Last weekend Princeton faced off against the Binghamton University Bearcats (3–10), the UNC-Charlotte 49ers (7–8), and the Western Michigan Broncos (11–4). The Tigers dominated the Bearcats on Saturday, winning seven matches and conceding none. On Sunday, Princeton maintained its hot streak, beating the 49ers and the Broncos 6–1 and 5–2, respectively.
The Tigers’ sound performances in the preseason reflects their ranking, currently No. 39 in Division I. Their success so far bodes well for the team, according to sophomore Davey Roberts.
“Everyone is really happy,” said Roberts. “[We have] great chemistry so far this year.”
First up on Sunday at 10 a.m. is Monmouth. Princeton last encountered Monmouth in 2015, when it swept to a victory, winning five matches and conceding none. The Tigers have an all-time record of 2–0 against Monmouth.
At 3 p.m. that afternoon, Princeton will face off against Temple. The two teams last met in 2012, when the Tigers crushed the Owls with a 7–0 victory. The Tigers have a whopping all-time record of 22–0 against Temple.
The Tigers are expecting exciting action on the court this weekend and aren’t letting their undefeated records against both Temple and Monmouth get to their heads.
“They might not be as tough as some of the teams we’ve had this year, but we definitely have to prepare and still be sharp. It’s really easy to underestimate teams,” said Roberts. “College tennis is a gamble sometimes.”
However, he added, “It’s nice to have history against teams, especially [if] they don’t feel as confident and we feel pretty good about it.”
This weekend’s matches are slated to be the last time the Tigers play indoors this season.
“Jadwin is another animal. It’s incredibly fast, hard courts,” explained Roberts. “We’re used to the courts and other teams aren’t.” Still, Roberts said that the team often compares it to Baker Rink, the University’s famous hockey arena, going as far as to say, “It’s like playing on ice.”
The team is optimistic about the rest of the season and believes they have a real shot of winning the Ivy League title and making the NCAA tournament, according to Roberts. But that’s not all — the Tigers are now aiming to smash a 23-year-old record: number of wins in a season. That number currently stands at 20, which was achieved in the spring of 1995. Two years ago, the team got close, winning 19 games in the spring of 2015.
“We’re in good shape for it,” said Roberts. “We’re sitting at 11 and have something close to 15 more matches.”
Next weekend, Princeton will wrap up its preseason on their annual spring break trip. After traveling to State College, Pa., for a match against Penn State (7–5) on March 17, the Tigers will head to the Sunshine State to face South Florida University (2–7), Central Florida University (4–5), and Florida Gulf Coast University (3–6).
Conference play begins when they get back, and first up in the Ivy League is Penn (7–8). The Tigers will head to Philadelphia on March 31 to face the Quakers, where Princeton will look to repeat last year’s 4–3 victory on Senior Day.