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Feb. 14, 2014
BRADENTON, Fla. - The Penn State men's golf team fell to Minnesota, 4-1-0, and Michigan State, 4-1-0 on day one of Big Ten Match Play at The Concessions Golf Club.
The No. 10 seed Nittany Lions faced off against the No. 7 Gophers at 7:30 a.m. Junior Xander McDonald-Smith (Rockaway Park, N.Y.) had a big day for the Blue and White, winning both his matches. McDonald-Smith topped Minnesota's Tyler Lowenstein 1-up. In his second victory for the Lions, the junior defeated Michigan State's Carson Castellani in the same score, 1-up.
Minnesota's Jose Mendez overcame sophomore JD Dornes (Lancaster, Pa.), 6 and 5. In Dornes' second match, he fell to Michigan State's Mitch Rutledge, 5 and 4.
Junior Jens Talbert (Little Rock, Ark.) fell short against Gopher Jon DuToit, 3 and 1. In his match against Spartan Charlie Metzel, Talbert fell 5 and 4.
Sophomore Chris Houston (Gilford, N.H.) faced Jon Trasamar of Minnesota in his only competition of the day. He dropped the match, 7 and 5.
Sophomore Geoff Vartelas (Cromwell, Conn.) played in the second round and took on Garreth Lappin of Michigan State. Lappin topped Vartelas, 4 and 2. Freshman Christian Elliott (Port Perry, Ontario) played his first match against Minnesota's Alex Gaugert and fell 1-up. Elliott dropped his second match to Gareth Blease, 4 and 3.
Semifinal matches will begin at 7:30 a.m. ET when Michigan takes on Iowa and Purdue faces Northwestern.
Penn State will tee off against No. 12 Nebraska Saturday morning at 8:30 a.m. in the consolation bracket to close out the Big Ten Match Play Championship.