Nittany Lion Tennis Edged by No. 21 Oklahoma State, 4-3
Jan. 31, 2009
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Penn State men's tennis team made a late run Saturday afternoon but fell just short to No. 21 Oklahoma State in day one of ITA Kick-Off Weekend. With the loss, Penn State will take on No. 33 Duke on Sunday with a 2 p.m. serve time at the Penn State Indoor Tennis Center.
After winning the doubles point, the Nittany Lions got off to a slow start in singles action. With the score being 3-3, the match came down to the No. 5 matchup between junior Ryan Gormley (Las Vegas, Nev.) and Oklahoma State's Anton Bobytskyi. The first set was back and forth and was tied at three at one point. However, Bobytskiyi took the set winning the next three games, 6-3. In the second set, Gormley trailed 2-1 early, but stormed back and won, 6-3. The third and match deciding set was tough for Gormley, as the junior began to cramp up. Gormley fought through it and played, but lost the set, 6-0.
In doubles action, senior Adam Slagter (Austin, Texas) and freshman Jason Lee (Melbourne, Australia) took on the 13th ranked pairing of Oleksandr Nedovyesov and Nathan Byrnes. The Cowboy tandem led 5-0 early, and maintained the lead to win 8-3, giving Oklahoma State an early advantage before Penn State took over.
In the No. 2 pairing, sophomore Eddie Bourchier (Hobart, Australia) and Gormley took on the Cowboys' Bobytski and Igor Sabolta. Bourchier and St-Maurice led early, 5-4, and took the final three games to win the match.
From there, the doubles point was determined in the matchup of junior Guillaume St-Maurice (Saint-Eustace, Quebec) and senior Brendan Lynch (North Potomac, Md.) and Oklahoma State's Aleksey Bessonov and Mikhail Trukshanin. The Nittany Lion duo was tied early with Oklahoma State, 3-3. However, the pair went on a 5-2 run to take the match, 8-5, and earn the doubles point for Penn State.
With the Nittany Lions leading 1-0, the match turned to singles action. In the No. 2 matchup, Bourchier lost a tough decision to Trukshanin, 6-2, 6-4. In the first set, Bourchier found himself down 4-1 through the first five games. In the second set, the Lion sophomore took the early 1-0 lead in the set, but was never able to hold on. With Trukshanin's victory, the match score was knotted up at one.
In the No. 1 matchup, Slagter faced the nation's fifth-best player in Nedovyesov. Slagter led early, 1-0, and kept it close, trailing only 4-3 through seven games in the first set. However, Nedovyesov pulled away and took the first set, 6-3. In the second set, the Oklahoma State standout never trailed and took the set and match, 6-2. The Cowboys led 2-1 at the point.
In the No. 4 bout, Lee took on Bessonov and took control of the match, winning his third singles match of the season, 6-3, 6-3. Lee was consistent throughout the entire match, and squeaked out the straight-set victory. With his win, Penn State tied the match back up at two.
To the No. 3 slot, Lynch got off to a fast start beating Byrnes 6-1 in the first set. However, Byrnes answered and took the following two sets and the match, 6-2 and 6-3. That led to a 3-2 lead for the Cowboys and a possible clinch match in the No. 6 matchup between St-Maurice and Sobolta. In the first set, Sobolta led 5-2 and showed no signs of letting up. However, St-Maurice battled back, tying the set up at six, forcing a tiebreaker. Sobolta led 3-0 in the tiebreaker early, but St-Maurice again came back and won the tiebreaker, 8-6. With the momentum in his favor, St-Maurice swept the second set, 6-0. That tied the match up at three, which eventually led to Bobytskyi defeating Gormley to win the match.
Following the matchup with Duke, Penn State will return to the Penn State Indoor Tennis Center on Saturday, Feb. 7 in a noon matchup with the Virginia Tech Hokies. Last season, the Nittany Lions lost a tough one to the Hokies, 4-3, in Blacksburg, Va. On Sunday, Feb. 8, the Lions will host a doubleheader with Cornell and Lehigh.
Final Score: #21 Oklahoma State 4 def. #44 Penn State 3