Slagter Leads Men's Tennis to Big Win Over No. 52 Virginia Commonwealth, 4-2
March 20, 2009
MONTGOMERY, Ala. - After a difficult loss to the No. 4 Tennessee Volunteers yesterday, the Penn State men's tennis team (8-6, 1-1) rebounded on Friday afternoon, as it downed the 52nd-ranked Virginia Commonwealth Rams. With the victory, Penn State advances in the consolation bracket and will face either William & Mary or Fresno State on Saturday.
The Lions kicked off the match with a quick 1-0 lead, after winning doubles matches in the No. 1 and 3 bouts over the Rams. After splitting two of the first four singles matches, Penn State led 3-2. With seniors Adam Slagter (Austin, Texas) and senior Brendan Lynch (North Potomac, Md.) both battling in three set matches, Slagter stepped up and clinched the match for the Lions as he defeated Martin Schulhauser, 6-4, 6-7 (4), 6-4.
In doubles action, Slagter and freshman Jason Lee (Melbourne, Australia) faced VCU's Benjamin Bouhana and Emil Lindgren. Slagter and Lee through the first seven games fought hard but were down, 3-4. However, the Penn State duo rallied back winning five of the next seven games to win their match, 8-6.
In the No. 3 doubles bout, Lynch and junior Guillaume St-Maurice (Saint-Eustache, Quebec) faced Martin Schulhauser and Nicolas Vinel. The Nittany Lions pairing went on to win the match, 8-5, to clinch the critical doubles point. Lynch and St-Maurice jumped out to a 5-2 lead and never looked back, as they gave Penn State an early 1-0 advantage over the Rams. With the doubles point clinched, junior Ryan Gormley (Las Vegas, Nev.) and sophomore Eddie Bourchier (Hobart, Australia) had their match come to an end, trailing 6-5 to Thibaut Charron and Bobo Delemark.
Penn State took its 1-0 lead into singles action. In the No. 3 singles bout, Lee faced Bouhana. In a fierce battle, Lee escaped the first set with a 6-4 victory. In the second set, Lee and Bouhana sat tied at one through the first two games. Bouhana went on to win two of the next three to gain a 3-2 advantage on the Nittany Lion freshman. However, Lee picked it up and won four of the final five games to earn a set and match victory. Lee's victory gave Penn State a 2-0 advantage.
In the No. 4 matchup, Bourchier faced Vinel and lost in straight sets, 6-1, 6-3. After easily winning the first set, Vinel got off to a rough start in the second set, trailing Bourchier, 3-2. However, the VCU product stepped up and won the final four games to steal the set and match from Bourchier. Vinel got the Rams on the board, trailing 2-1 to the Nittany Lions.
In the No. 6 matchup, St-Maurice earned a nice two set victory, 6-3, 7-6 (5), over Delemark to give Penn State a 3-1 lead. In the first set, Delemark kept it close early, but St-Maurice went on to win the final two games to take the set. St-Maurice led 4-3 in the second set, but Delemark battled back to force the tiebreaker. St-Maurice won the tiebreaker to get the third point for the Lions.
VCU never let up though. In the No. 5 bout, Gormley was taken down by Lindgren in three sets, 4-6, 6-2, 6-4. After a nice first set win for Gormley, Lindgren took over dominating in the second set. With the third set tied at three, Lindgren won three of the next four games to clinch a point for VCU and cutting Penn State's lead to one with a 3-2 score. From there though, Slagter stepped up to clinch the match.
With the match ending at 4-2, Lynch's three set match came to an end with him ahead, 3-2 in the third set.
With the win, the Nittany Lions will play the winner of William & Mary and Fresno State on Saturday. First serve is set for noon.
Final Score: #55 Penn State 4 def. #52 Virginia Commonwealth 2