No. 43 Penn State Remains Perfect in 5-2 Win over Penn
Feb. 22, 2014
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The No. 43 Penn State men's tennis team remained unbeaten in a 5-2 win over Penn on Saturday at the Indoor Tennis Center. The Nittany Lions improved to 10-0 this season and now have claim to the best start in school history. Penn State swept the doubles matches and won four singles matches. Penn dropped to 1-4 this spring.
The Nittany Lions won their tenth straight match to begin the spring to top the 1992 team that went 9-0 to start the season.
"I'm pleased with the win and pleased that we're 10-0," said Head Coach Jeff Zinn. "We just have to keep working hard and keep getting better."
Leonard Stakhovsky (Kiev, Ukraine) started again at the top spot for the Nittany Lions as he took on Penn's Nikola Kocovic. The sophomore got a quick 6-0 win in the first set. He followed that up with a 6-2 win in the second set to earn the sweep. Stakhovsky, ranked 54th in the ITA Poll, improved to 9-0 this spring.
Senior Russell Bader (Austin, Texas) competed against Penn's Vim De Alwis at No. 2 singles. The Austin, Texas native claimed a quick first set, 6-0. He finished off the straight set with a 6-3 result in the second set. Bader is now 10-0 this spring and 17-4 overall.
Bader moved into seventh place all-time at Penn State with the victory. The senior now has 84 career wins to pass Marc Dorfmann(1995-00) and Colin Smeeton(1994-98). He is now two wins behind sixth place, held by Mike Griesser(1995-99).
Freshman Alex Fennell (Bala Cynwyd, Pa.) matched up against Penn's Jeremy Court at the third singles spot. Fennell won the first set 6-4 and continued his momentum into the second set as he won 6-0. It marked the fourth straight match that Fennell clinched the match point for Penn State. Fennell improved to 8-2 this spring and 12-5 overall.
Sophomore Matt Barry (Lido Beach, N.Y.) won the first set, 6-0, against Penn's Marshall Sharp in the No. 5 match. Sharp retired due to injury in the second set to give Barry the win. Barry moved to 6-0 this spring and 15-4 overall.
At the fourth singles spot, Roman Trkulja (Toronto, Canada) took on Penn's Matt Nardella. In a back-and-forth first set, Trkulja forced a tiebreaker at 6-6, but Nardella won the tiebreaker, 7-5. In the second set, Nardella won 6-3. Trkulja fell to 5-4 this spring.
Marc Collado Castells (Barcelona, Spain) competed in the No. 6 singles spot against Penn's Zach Katz. The freshman earned a 6-4 win in the first set. In the second set, Katz responded with a 6-2 win. In the tiebreaker set, Katz came out on top 10-6. Castells dropped his first match this spring and is now 7-1 in dual matches.
Bader and Stakhovsky combined at the top doubles spot for the Nittany Lions against Penn's Kocovic and Nardella. The Penn State duo came out with an 8-6 win. They are now 7-2 this spring.
With the win, Bader passed his former partner, Jason Lee(2008-12) on the all-time doubles list. Bader now has 70 wins and is tied with Adam Slagter(2005-09).
Junior Michael Reilly (Raleigh, N.C.) and senior Chris Young (Melbourne, Australia) paired up at No. 2 doubles to face Penn's Katz and Sharp. The duo rallied from being down 5-3 to earn an 8-6 win to clinch the doubles point for the Nittany Lions. They improved to 4-0 this spring.
At the third doubles spot, David Kohan (Sydney, Australia) and Christian Lutschaunig (Richboro, Pa.) matched up against Penn's Austin Kaplan and Thomas Spratt. Kohan and Lutschaunig also pulled out an 8-6 win to complete the doubles sweep for Penn State. The pair is now 6-1 this spring and 10-1 overall.
Penn State has won the doubles point in nine of their 10 matches this spring.
Next Sunday, the Nittany Lions travel to take on No. 1 Ohio State in the first Big Ten match of the year for Penn State. The match starts at noon at the Ohio State Varsity Tennis Center. The Buckeyes won the ITA National Indoor Title last weekend and maintain a 181 home match win streak, the longest active streak in any Division I sport.
"Next weekend will be a good test for us against Ohio State," said Zinn. "We'll see how much we've progressed and how we can compete against one of the top teams in the country."
Please check back to GoPSUSports.com for more coverage of the Penn State men's tennis team. Updates are also available on our Facebook, Penn State Men's Tennis, and Twitter, @pennstateMTEN, pages.
Doubles: 1. Bader/Stakhovsky(PSU) def. Kocovic/Nardella(Penn), 8-6.
2. Reilly/Young(PSU) def. Katz/Sharp(Penn), 8-6.
3. Kohan/Lutschaunig(PSU) def. Kaplan/Spratt(Penn), 8-6.
Order of Finish:1,2,3
1. #54 Leo Stakhovsky(PSU) def. Nikola Kocovic(Penn), 6-0, 6-2.
2. #119 Russell Bader(PSU) def. Vim De Alwis(Penn), 6-0, 6-3.
3. Alex Fennell(PSU) def. Jeremy Court(Penn), 6-4, 6-0.
4. Matt Nardella(Penn) def. Roman Trkulja(PSU), 7-6(5), 6-3.
5. Matt Barry(PSU) def. Marshall Sharp(Penn), 6-0, 3-0, retired.
6. Zach Katz(Penn) def. Marc Collado Castells(PSU), 4-6, 6-2, 1-0(10-6).
Order of Finish: 1,2,3,4,5,6