Nittany Lion Tennis Falls to No. 1 Virginia in First Round of ITA National Indoor Championships
Feb. 15, 2008
SEATTLE, Wash. - The 38th-ranked and 16th-seeded Penn State men's tennis team (3-3) battled top-ranked Virginia (8-0) on Friday afternoon, but the talented Cavalier squad utilized a doubles point and advanced to the quarterfinals, 4-0, at the ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Tennis Championships inside Nordstrom Tennis Center on the University of Washington campus.
With the Cavaliers leading 1-0 after securing the doubles point, the Nittany Lions tried to rally in singles action, but 2007 NCAA semifinalist Virginia secured three straight sets victories to sweep the Lions. Nonetheless, senior Michael James (Clifton, Va.) walked off the No. 1 court tied with the top-ranked player in the nation. James notched the first set, but No. 1 Somdev Devvarman squared the match in the second. Because the Cavaliers clinched the overall match, the No. 1 singles bout was not finished.
Action will continue in Seattle tomorrow. The Nittany Lions will meet No. 9 Notre Dame for the second time in less than a month. The match will take place at 11 a.m. PT at the Seattle Tennis Club in downtown Seattle. Notre Dame defeated the Nittany Lions 5-2 back on Jan. 20 in South Bend. Virginia moves on to face No. 8 UCLA after the Bruins handed the Irish a 4-0 defeat.
In doubles play, junior Adam Slagter (Austin, Texas) and freshman Eddie Bourchier (Hobart, Australia) suffered an 8-3 setback at the No. 1 slot against the No. 1 doubles team in the nation made up of Somdev Devvarman and Treat Huey. The Cavalier team secured an early break to take a 3-1 edge. From there, the Cavs cruised to the 8-3 victory. Slagter and Bourchier fall to 4-2 in duals.
At No. 2, sophomore Ryan Gormley (Las Vegas, Nev.) and freshman Jake Toole (Sharon, Mass.) dropped an 8-5 decision the Virginia team of Houston Barrick and Dominic Inglot. Toole and Gormley battled back from an early service break, but the Cavalier team was too much, as they clinched the doubles point to give Virginia a 1-0 lead in the match.
James and junior Brendan Lynch (North Potomac, Md.) held a 6-5 lead over No. 17 Lee Singer and Teddy Angelinos of Virginia in the No. 3 doubles bout when the match was halted once the doubles point was decided.
With the Cavaliers leading 1-0, the match moved to singles play. In the No. 2 bout, Slagter took on No. 12 Huey. The Lion junior suffered a 6-4, 6-4 defeat at the hands of Huey. Huey managed to secure a break in the sixth game of the first to take a 4-2 lead. He served out the set, 6-4. The two players were on-serve in the second until Huey secured a late break to snag the second point for Virginia, 6-4.
Lynch suffered his first dual setback of the season against Sanam Singh in the No. 3 match. The Nittany Lion southpaw held a 3-2 lead in the first, but Singh rallied to win the next four games to take the first, 6-3. He rode that momentum into the second on his way to a 6-2 victory. Singh's triumph gave the Cavaliers a 3-0 lead. With the loss, Lynch is now 5-1 in duals this season.
In the No. 5 match, Virginia's Barrick, who is ranked 83rd in the nation ousted Gormley by a score of 6-4, 7-5 to seal the Virginia sweep. After dropping the first, Gormley and Barrick remained on-serve until the 12th game of the set, which proved to be all Barrick needed to seal the Cavalier victory.
With the match decided in favor of the Virginia, the remaining three bouts were suspended. At No. 1, James, who is ranked 51st in the nation, went toe-to-toe with No. 1 Devvarman. James cruised to a quick 3-0 lead in the first before Devvarman rallied to set the score at 5-4. Nonetheless, James served his way to a one-set lead (6-4) against the nation's top-ranked collegiate tennis player. Despite trailing 2-0 in the second, Devvarman came back to notch the set victory in the second to knot the match at one set apiece, 6-3.
Bourchier was trailing Michael Shabaz (7-6 (9), 4-3) in the No. 4 match. The Australian rookie jumped out to a 5-3 lead in the first set, but Shabaz managed a service break, and served his way to a 5-5 score. He managed a tight tiebreak victory. The two players were on-serve in the second when the match was stopped.
Guillaume St-Maurice (St-Eustache, Quebec) was also trailing in the No. 6 match. Angelinos held a 6-2, 5-6 edge over St-Maurice when Barrick clinched the match for Virginia.
Final Score: #1 Virginia 4, #38 Penn State 0