Men's Tennis Clipped by No. 32 Virginia Tech, 4-3
Feb. 7, 2009
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Looking to rebound after a tough two losses last weekend, the Penn State men's tennis team fell just short to No. 32 Virginia Tech on Saturday, 4-3. The 44th-ranked Nittany Lions fall to 2-4 on the season, and will close this weekend playing Cornell at 10 a.m. and Lehigh at 3 p.m. on Sunday.
Penn State came out strong early snatching the doubles point and the early 1-0 lead. The Lions two doubles victories came in upsets against the 20th and 45th nationally ranked Virginia Tech doubles pairings. However, the Hokies stormed back, winning four of the six singles matches to take the match, 4-3.
"Virginia Tech did a great job today after losing the doubles point," said head coach Todd Doebler, "They did a nice job excelling and coming back in singles. We need to continue competing and be ready for two important matches tomorrow with Cornell and Lehigh."
Playing in the No. 3 doubles matchup featured senior Brendan Lynch (North Potomac, Md.) and junior Guillaume St-Maurice (Saint-Eustache, Quebec) taking on Virginia Tech's Pedro Grabler and Brandon Corace. The matchup was tied 3-3, but from there, the Hokies went on a run. Grabler and Corace won the next three games to lead, 6-3. The Virginia Tech pairing went on to win the match, 8-5.
In the No. 1 doubles bout, senior Adam Slagter (Austin, Texas) and freshman Jason Lee (Melbourne, Australia) took on the 20th-ranked Hokies pairing of Nicolas Delgado de Robles and Luka Somen. With game points being exchanged throughout the match, Penn State's pairing finally broke away with three consecutive games gaining a 7-4 advantage on the Hokies. After the Somen and Delgado de Robles took the next game point, the Lions won the following game to clinch the upset.
The doubles point decision came down to the No. 2 matchup featuring Penn State's Eddie Bourchier (Hobart, Australia) and Ryan Gormley (Las Vegas, Nev.) against Virginia Tech's 45th-ranked pairing of Sebastien Jacques and Yoann Re. Jaques and Re jumped out to 5-2 lead early in the match. Bourchier and Gormley battled back though, winning the next five games to lead the match 7-5. Virginia Tech won the next game, but the Lions held on to upset the Virginia Tech pairing, 8-6. With the upset victory, Penn State clinched the doubles point.
With Penn State leading 1-0, the match moved to singles action. In the No. 1 matchup, Slagter faced-off with Re. After Slagter won the first game of the first set, Re came back and won the next six games to take a one-set advantage on the Nittany Lion senior. The second set was played much closer with game points being exchanged. With the set tied at six, it went to a tiebreaker, in which Re won, 7-4. With the victory by Re, Virginia Tech tied the match back up at one.
On the No. 4 court, Lee took on the Hokies' Somen. Somen defeated Lee in straight sets 6-1, 6-1. In the No. 3 bout, Bourchier took on the 100th-ranked Grabler. Grabler won in straight sets as well, 6-2, 6-2. With the two Hokie victories, Virginia Tech led, 3-1.
Lynch faced-off with Delgado de Robles in the No. 2 matchup. In the first set, Lynch jumped on Delgado de Robles early, taking a 4-0 lead. From there, the senior captain took two of the next four games to take the set. Lynch and Delgado de Robles found themselves tied at four in the second set. However, Lynch ran away, taking the final two games and the match. Lynch kept the Nittany Lions alive, making the score 3-2 in favor of Virginia Tech.
In the No. 6 matchup, St-Maurice faced Corace. Corace had a smooth first set, winning the first three games, and winning the set, 6-1. St-Maurice did not give up though, playing hard in the second set and winning the tiebreaker to win the set, 7-6. In the final set, St-Maurice couldn't keep up with Corace, who took the set to win the match, 6-1. The win by Corace gave Virginia Tech the victory.
With the match already decided, Gormley matched up with Jacques in the No. 5 bout. In the first set, Jacques led Gormley, 5-2. Gormley stormed back and tied the set at six, but Jacques won the tiebreaker, 7-4. In the second set, Gormley fought and won, 6-4, to force a third set. The Las Vegas native held a 3-2 lead midway through the third set when Virginia Tech decided to end the No. 5 bout because of the match already being clinched. Gormley was rewarded the victory, making the final score of the match 4-3.
Following matches vs. Cornell and Lehigh on Sunday, Penn State will return to action on Feb. 22, making a trip to Purdue to open the Big Ten season. Penn State will have another two-week break to prepare for a match with the No. 1 Ohio State Buckeyes on March 5 at the Penn State Indoor Tennis Center.
Final Score: #32 Virginia Tech 4 def. #44 Penn State 3