Nittany Lion Tennis Falls to No. 28 Minnesota, 5-2
March 27, 2009
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Penn State men's tennis team kicked off a Big Ten doubleheader weekend with a tough 5-2 setback to the Minnesota Golden Gophers on Friday. Penn State drops to 8-8 on the season and 1-2 in the Big Ten.
The Gophers started the match with a quick 1-0 lead, after winning doubles matches in the No. 1 and 3 bouts over the Lions. From there, Minnesota took three of the five singles matches to claim the 5-2 victory.
In doubles action, senior Adam Slagter (Austin, Texas) and freshman Jason Lee (Melbourne, Australia) faced Minnesota's Ishay Hadash and Sebastian Gallego. The Nittany Lion tandem was rolling early on, leading 5-2 early in the match. However, the Gophers came back and won six of the final seven games to win the match, 8-6.
In the No. 2 doubles bout, senior Brendan Lynch (North Potomac, Md.) and junior Guillaume St-Maurice (Saint-Eustache, Quebec) faced Tobia Wernet and Dino Bilankov. Penn State had a 5-4 lead, but saw that dwindle when the Minnesota dual jumped out to a 7-6 lead. However, Lynch and St-Maurice won the final two games to win the match, 9-7.
The doubles point was decided in the No.3 bout where junior Ryan Gormley (Las Vegas, Nev.) and sophomore Eddie Bourchier (Hobart, Australia) took on Michael Sicora and Julian Dehn. Gormley and Bourchier led 7-4 looking to capture the doubles point. However, the Gopher squad won four of the next five games to knot the match up at eight. Minnesota breezed through the tiebreaker, 7-0, to clinch the doubles point.
Minnesota took its 1-0 lead into singles action. In the No. 2 singles bout, Slagter faced Wernet. Wernet had no problem with Slagter downing him in straight sets, 6-2, 6-2. In the No. 6 matchup, sophomore Benji Kendall (Villanova, Pa.) lost to Sicora in straight sets, 6-2, 6-2, to give Minnesota a 3-0 lead.
The clinching match came in the No. 1 bout where Lynch was downed by Hodash, 7-5, 6-4. Lynch had an early 5-4 advantage in the first set, but Hodash won the final three games to snag the first frame. In the second set, Lynch again jumped out to an early 4-2 lead, but Hodash won the final four games to clinch the match for Minnesota.
With the match already decided, Bilankov faced St-Maurice in the No. 5 matchup. In the first set, Bilankov escaped to a 6-4 win. In the second set, St-Maurice jumped out to a 5-2 lead. The set eventually went to tiebreaker, in which St-Maurice won. Bilankov breezed through the third set, 6-0, to earn another point for the Gophers.
On court No. 4, Bourchier won his match in straight sets over Dehn, 6-2, 7-6 (4). After a nice first set victory, Bourchier and Dehn found themselves tied in the second set. Bourchier clinced the second set after he had a 7-4 victory in the tiebreaker.
Lee also earned a victory for the Lions as he won in three sets over Gallego, 4-6, 6-2, 7-6 (8). After a tough first set, Lee bounced back in the second set and had an early 4-1 lead. From there, the freshman won two of the next three games to claim the second set. In the third set, Lee and Gallego found themselves tied at six heading into a tiebreaker. With the points being exchanged, Lee pulled out the 10-8 victory to claim the match.
Penn State will host the 52nd-ranked Iowa Hawkeyes on Sunday at the Sarni Tennis Center.
Final Score: #28 Minnesota 5 def. #53 Penn State 2