Nittany Lion Tennis Rolls Over Cornell, 6-1
Feb. 9, 2008
ITHACA, N.Y. - The 39th-ranked Penn State men's tennis team (3-2) jumped out to an early lead after a doubles sweep, and coasted to a 6-1 victory at Cornell (2-1) on Saturday at Reis Tennis Center.
After notching three dominant doubles victories, senior Michael James (Clifton, Va.) spearheaded a Nittany Lion singles attack by scoring his 100th career victory at Penn State. The Lions notched wins in the top four singles bouts on their way to the 6-1 victory on the road.
"We played really solid doubles again, and we carried that momentum into singles," said head coach Todd Doebler. "The guys did a nice job taking care of business on the road."
Junior Adam Slagter (Austin, Texas) and freshman Eddie Bourchier (Hobart, Australia) scored their fourth consecutive triumph at No. 1 doubles with an 8-4 victory over the Cornell duo of Kyle Doppelt Weston Nichols. Slagter and Bourchier are now 4-1 on the season.
At No. 2, sophomore Ryan Gormley (Las Vegas, Nev.) and freshman Jake Toole (Sharon, Mass.) recorded an 8-4 victory over the Big Red team of Joshua Goldstein and Jeremy Feldman. With the win, Gormley and Toole improved to 3-1 at No. 2 in dual play this spring.
James and junior Brendan Lynch (North Potomac, Md.) secured a dominating victory at the No. 3 spot against Rory Heggie and Marc Asch. The Lion duo cruised to an 8-1 win for the second consecutive week. James and Lynch are now 3-0 in duals this season.
After Penn State grabbed a 1-0, the match turned to singles play. At No. 1, James, who is ranked 51st in the nation, rolled over Doppelt in straight sets. James marched to a 6-3 edge in the first, and followed that up with a 6-1 edge in the second. With the victory James now owns a 100-30 career record in Happy Valley. He is 19-5 on the year, and 4-1 in duals this spring.
Slagter knocked off Heggie in the No. 2 bout in straight sets, 6-4, 6-2. The junior southpaw is now 2-2 in duals this spring and 5-5 overall as a junior.
Lynch maintained his perfect start to the spring with another dominating straight sets victory over Asch at No. 3. The Lion junior won the first by a 6-3 margin, and then closed the door with a 6-1 decision in the second. He is now 5-0 in dual matches this spring, and has won 11 of his last 13 dual battles. Overall, Lynch has won his last seven matches, and now holds a 16-3 overall record this season.
Bourchier snapped a four-match skid with a straight sets victory at the No. 4 slot against Goldstein. The Australian rookie won a tight first, 7-6 (3), and closed out the match with a 6-3 edge in the second. With the win, Bourchier notched his first dual victory as a collegian. He owns an 11-7 record in his first season at Penn State.
In the No. 5 match, Toole suffered a three-set defeat at the hands of Jon Jaklitsch. Toole notched the first by a 6-4 margin, but Jaklitsch rallied in the second with a 7-5 victory. With the match already decided, the bout went into a third-set super tiebreaker. Jaklitsch scored a 10-8 victory in the breaker to notch Cornell's only point on the afternoon. Toole falls to 5-5 on the year.
Gormley cruised past Jon Fife in the sixth singles match with a straight sets triumph, 6-4, 7-6 (5). The Nittany Lion sophomore now owns a 4-1 record in dual matches this spring. Gormley is 11-5 on the year.
Next week, the Nittany Lion men's tennis team will travel to the ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships for the first time in school history. The prestigious tournament features 16 of the nation's elite men's tennis programs. The field includes last season's national champion Georgia, as well as runner-up Illinois. The 2007 Big Ten champion Ohio State Buckeyes mark three Big Ten teams in the field of 16. Penn State will take on top-ranked Virginia in the first round of the tournament. The tournament will run from Feb. 15-18 in Seattle, Wash., and is hosted by the University of Washington.
Final Score: #39 Penn State 6, Cornell 1