Penn State Sweeps Buffalo and Bucknell
Feb. 11, 2012
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -
The Penn State men's tennis team (6-2) accepted head coach Jeff Zinn's challenge to get better, especially in doubles play. The Nittany Lions fed off of a strong doubles performance in both matches, taking five of six pairings on the day, en route to sweeping away Buffalo (1-3) and Bucknell (1-1) on a snowy Saturday at the Indoor Tennis Center.
"In one week's time we have gotten better," said head coach Jeff Zinn. "That is all we can ask for, to get better in every facet of the game."
Penn State 7, Buffalo 0
The Nittany Lions opened their first match of the day with a sizeable test in the form of an experienced Buffalo Bulls team. Senior Jason Lee (Sydney, Australia) and sophomore Russell Bader (Austin, Texas) set the tone for the day early, clinching their third consecutive impressive victory in first doubles. The duo took down Wojciech Starakiewicz and Vusa Hove, 8-4, and more importantly led the charge in a much improved Penn State doubles attack.
Next, junior C.J. Griffin (Portland, Mich.) and senior Taylor Cohen (Philadelphia, Pa.) secured the doubles point with an 8-6 victory over Ivan Vereschchaga and George Tibil in second doubles. Finally, junior Bryan Welnetz (Laredo, Texas) and sophomore Chris Young (Melbourne, Australia) completed the doubles sweep with an 8-7 (6) win on court three.
With the doubles point in hand, Cohen started singles play off on the right foot, easily dispatching of Verseschchaga in fourth singles, 6-2, 6-3. Bader followed with another quick win, defeating Starakiewicz, 6-1, 6-1 in the No. 2 singles match. Then, Lee took center stage with the chance to wrap up a victory for the Nittany Lions. The co-captain jumped out a 6-3 first set triumph, but fell in the second set, 6-3, setting up a decisive third stanza. Lee responded to the challenge with flying colors, besting Damien David's best effort in the third set, 6-4.
After the match had been decided, freshman Tomas Hanzlik (Prague, Czech Republic) reaffirmed his No. 80 national ranking when overcame adversity on court three. The freshman dropped his first set to Hove, 6-4, who had won four straight matches entering Saturday. Hanzlik would not be denied though, taking the next two sets, 7-5, 6-3, giving the Nittany Lions a 5-0 lead. After that, Welnetz beat Tibil (6-4, 6-2) and red-shirt junior Chris Hasyn (Lansdale, Pa.) took down Jason Simon, 6-2, 6-3, to complete the sweep and improve to 3-0 all-time against Buffalo.
Final Score: Penn State 7, Buffalo 0
Penn State 7, Bucknell 0
Penn State continued to answer its coach's challenge Saturday afternoon, picking right where it left off in the first match of the doubleheader. Cohen and Griffin blistered Bucknell's second doubles team of Josh Katten and Kelly Morque, earning an 8-5 victory. Hanzlik and Young would not allow the Nittany Lions to go to a third and decisive match. The tandem outworked Kyle Rosen and Scott Bernstein in third doubles, securing an 8-4 victory and the first point of the match for Penn State. Finally, Lee and Bader fell in a highly contested No. 1 doubles bout to Gregg Cohenca and Evan Zimmer, 9-8 (7).
Penn State jumped out a 2-0 lead as soon as singles play began. With Cohen leading 2-1 in the first set, Zimmer injured his back and could not continue, giving Cohen an important singles win. Hasyn responded, as well, earning his most dominant win of the season. The red-shirt junior posted a 6-0, 6-0 drubbing of Rosen in fourth singles. Hanzlik finished off the team's sixth win of the season with a 6-2, 6-0 romp over Octavio Canibe.
With the outcome confirmed, Bader overpowered Cohenca (6-3, 7-5), Welnetz decisively defeated Katten (6-1, 6-1), and Griffin took down Morque (6-1, 6-3) to push the Nittany Lions' record on the day to 14-0.
Final Score: Penn State 7 def. Bucknell 0
After clinching a winning record on the homestand Saturday, the Nittany Lions will return to action next Saturday, Feb. 18, against Binghamton looking to continue their sensational play. The action will begin at 4 p.m. at the Indoor Tennis Center. Admission is free and pizza will be available for all fans free of charge.