No. 34 Nittany Lions Handed First Loss by No. 1 Buckeyes, 5-2
March 2, 2014
COLUMBUS, OHIO- The No. 34 Penn State men's tennis team suffered their first loss of the season, 5-2, against No. 1 Ohio State. The Nittany Lions won the doubles point, including knocking off the No. 3 doubles team in the nation. However, the Buckeyes won five of the six singles matches. Ohio State improved to 17-0 this spring. Penn State fell to 10-1 this season.
The Nittany Lions took an early 1-0 lead by winning the doubles point. Penn State has now won the doubles point in 10 of their 11 matches this spring.
At the top doubles spot, Russell Bader (Austin, Texas) and Leonard Stakhovsky (Kiev, Ukraine) paired up to take on the nation's third-best doubles team, according to the ITA Poll, Ohio State's Peter Kobelt and Kevin Metka. In a back-and-forth set, the Penn State duo came out with an 8-6 victory. It is only the second time this season that the Ohio State pair lost this spring and snapped a seven-match win streak. Bader and Stakhovsky improved to 8-2 this spring and won their seventh-straight match. It is their first win this season over a ranked doubles opponent.
With the win, Bader passed Adam Slagter(2005-09) to move into third place on the all-time doubles wins list at Penn State. Bader now has 71 career wins. He is seven behind Michael James (2004-08) for second place.
Michael Reilly (Raleigh, N.C.) and Chris Young (Melbourne, Australia) matched up at No. 2 doubles against Ohio State's Hunter Callahan and Herkko Pollanen. The Nittany Lion duo earned a tough 8-7(5) win to clinch the doubles point for Penn State. Reilly and Young moved to 5-0 this spring.
Sophomore David Kohan (Sydney, Australia) and freshman Christian Lutschaunig (Richboro, Pa.) combined against Ohio State's Chris Diaz and Ralf Steinbach at the third doubles spot, but fell 8-1. Kohan and Lutschaunig are now 6-2 in dual matches and 10-2 overall.
At the third singles spot, Alex Fennell (Bala Cynwyd, Pa.) faced Ohio State's Chris Diaz. After dropping the first set, 6-4, Fennell responded with a 6-2 win in the second set. In the deciding set, Fennell came out on top, 6-4 to earn his eighth-straight win. He is now 9-2 this spring.
In a matchup of ranked opponents, Stakhovsky, ranked 50th in the ITA Poll, took on Kobelt, ranked 9th. However Kobelt won in straight sets, 6-2, 6-2, to hand Stakhovsky his first loss of the spring. Stakhovsky is now 9-1.
Bader met No. 88 Hunter Callahan in the second singles match. Bader was not able to extend his 13-match win streak, falling 6-1, 6-1. Bader drops to 10-1 this spring.
At No. 4 singles, Roman Trkulja (Toronto, Canada) matched up against the Buckeyes' Ralf Steinbach. The sophomore won the first set, 6-4, but Steinbach with a 6-4 set of his own. Steinbach took the third set 6-2. Trkulja is now 5-5 this spring.
In the fifth singles match, Matt Barry (Lido Beach, N.Y.) faced Kevin Metka. The sophomore dropped his first match this spring, snapping a six-match win streak, as Metka won 6-3, 6-4.
In the final singles matchup, freshman Marc Collado Castells (Barcelona, Spain) took on Ohio State's Hunter Callahan, ranked 72nd in the ITA Poll. Callahan won in straight sets, 6-3, 6-4. Castells fell to 7-2 this spring.
Next weekend, Penn State heads to Princeton to take on the Tigers. The match begins at 11 a.m. on Saturday.
For updates on the Penn State men's tennis team, check back to GoPSUSports.com. Updates are also available on our Facebook, Penn State Men's Tennis, and Twitter, @pennstateMTEN, pages.
1. Bader/Stakhovsky(PSU) def. #3 Kobelt/Metka(OSU), 8-6.
2. Reilly/Young(PSU) def. Callahan/Pollanen(OSU), 8-7(5).
3. Diaz/Steinbach(OSU) def. Kohan/Lutschaunig(PSU), 8-1.
Order of Finish: 3,1,2
1. #9 Peter Kobelt(OSU) def. #50 Leo Stakhovsky(PSU), 6-2, 6-2.
2. #88 Herkko Pollanen(OSU) def. Russell Bader(PSU), 6-1, 6-1.
3. Alex Fennell(PSU) def. Chris Diaz(OSU), 4-6, 6-2, 6-4.
4. Ralf Steinbach(OSU) def. Roman Trkulja(PSU), 4-6, 6-4, 6-2.
5. Kevin Metka(OSU) def. Matt Barry(PSU), 6-3, 6-4.
6. #72 Hunter Callahan(OSU) def. Marc Collado Castells(PSU), 6-3, 6-4.
Order of Finish: 1,2,5,6,4,3