Nittany Lion Tennis Dominates Iowa, 6-1, and Downs St. Bonaventure, 4-3
March 30, 2008
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The 51st-ranked Penn State men's tennis team (10-8, 3-2) scored a pair of victories on Sunday, marking four-straight wins over the course of three days this weekend. The Lions first knocked off 46th-ranked Iowa (9-6, 1-3) by a score of 6-1 at the Penn State Indoor Tennis Center. The Lions closed out the afternoon with a 4-3 triumph over St. Bonaventure (3-8) in the Lions' first outdoor match of the spring at Sarni Tennis Center.
Against Iowa, the Lions secured a doubles sweep and then scored straight-sets victories in the first four completed singles matches to secure the victory over the Hawkeyes. In all, the Lions tallied five straight-sets victories in the singles lineup to set the final score at 6-1. Penn State jumped all over St. Bonaventure early in the second match of the day with a sweep of the Bonnies in doubles. However, the two teams split the singles action, which gave the Lions the narrow 4-3 win. Penn State rested four of its starters from the singles lineup against St. Bonaventure.
Match One: Penn State vs. Iowa
In doubles action, senior James Dwyer (Peachtree City, Ga.) and freshman Eddie Bourchier (Hobart, Australia) gave the Nittany Lions an early edge with an 8-3 victory over the Iowa team of Gregory Holm and Christian Bierich. Dwyer and Bourchier jumped out to a 4-1 lead and cruised to the 8-3 victory at No. 3.
The Nittany Lions claimed a 1-0 lead in the match after senior Michael James (Clifton, Va.) and junior Brendan Lynch (North Potomac, Md.), who are ranked 34th in the ITA doubles rankings, ousted the Hawkeye team of Bart van Monsjou and J.P. Ritchie in the No. 1 bout. Lynch and James took a 3-0 lead, but the Iowa team scored a break in the fifth game of the pro-set to get back on-serve. The two teams then remained on-serve until the final game of the set, which is when the Lion duo notched a critical break to take the 8-6 victory. In doing so, James and Lynch improved to a perfect 12-0 on in dual action this spring.
Penn State's team of junior Adam Slagter (Austin, Texas) and senior Chris Sherman (Edina, Minn.) sealed a doubles sweep with a hard-fought 9-8 (6) victory at No. 2 against Walker Grimes and Reinoud Haal. Penn State quickly built a 3-1 edge, but Iowa battled back to send the match into a tiebreaker. The Hawkeyes served a pair of match point opportunities in the breaker, but Sherman and Slagter manufactured five consecutive points to close out the match.
With Penn State up 1-0, the match moved to singles play. The Nittany Lions carried the doubles momentum right into singles action. Slagter jumped all over Ritchie in the No. 2 bout. The Lion junior secured a break in the sixth game of the first set on his way to a 6-2 victory. From there, Slagter remained flawless, as he scored the final 10 games of the match (6-2, 6-0), which handed Penn State a 2-0 lead in the match.
Lynch then knocked off Bierich by a score of 6-3, 6-4 at No. 3 to increase the Penn State lead to 3-0. After notching the first (6-3), Lynch and Bierich battled in the second. The second set featured five total service breaks. Nevertheless, the Lion southpaw took a 5-4 lead late in the set with his third break of the set. Lynch went on to serve out the match, 6-4.
Penn State clinched its third conference victory of the spring when Dwyer downed Haal in the No. 4 bout. Dwyer cruised to a 6-2 victory in the first set. The Nittany Lion senior needed just one break in the second set to clinch the match for the Lions. He notched a 6-4 triumph to give the Nittany Lions a commanding 4-0 lead.
Iowa got on the board with a hard-fought victory in the No. 1 match. James, who is ranked 52nd in the ITA national singles rankings, built a one-set lead (6-4) over Iowa's von Monsjou. However, the Hawkeye senior rallied in the second (6-3) to knot the match at one set apiece. In the decisive third, James built an early lead, but von Monsjou sealed the Hawkeye victory by claiming the third (6-3).
The Nittany Lions capped off the match with a pair of dominant victories in the Nos. 5 and 6 spots in the singles lineup. Bourchier defeated Iowa's Tommy McGeorge at No. 5 in straight sets. Bourchier notched the first by a score of 6-4. He went on to dominate the second, 6-1, which gave the Nittany Lions a 5-1 advantage in the overall match,
Sophomore Guillaume St-Maurice (St-Eustache, Quebec) defeated Holm at No. 6 to set the final score at 6-1, in favor of Penn State. St-Maurice blanked Holm in a quick first (6-0). The Nittany Lion sophomore closed out the match with a 6-2 victory in the second.
Final Score: #51 Penn State 6, #46 Iowa 1
Match Two: Penn State vs. St. Bonaventure
In the second match, the Nittany Lions quickly jumped out to a 1-0 lead with a doubles sweep of the Bonnies. At No. 1, Slagter and Sherman posted a dominant 8-1 victory over St. Bonaventure's Leo Mochizuki and Chris Post.
Lynch teamed with Ryan Gormley (Las Vegas, Nev.) to oust the Bonnie team of Victor Lecina and Mikhail Sudakov by a score of 8-4 in the No. 2 doubles bout.
The No. 3 match featured Dwyer and St-Maurice against Diego Valdenegro and Jonathan Luce of St. Bonaventure. The Nittany Lion duo jumped out to a 5-0 lead and cruised to an 8-1 victory in the match.
With Penn State leading 1-0, the match moved to singles action. With Penn State's top four players absent from the lineup, St. Bonaventure battled its way to a singles split. Bourchier posted a 6-1, 6-1 victory over Lecina at the No. 1 spot. With the win, Penn State took a 2-0 match lead.
Gormley extended the margin to 3-0 with a convincing 6-2, 6-1 win over Luce in the No. 3 bout. After scoring the first, he built a 4-1 lead in the second on his way to the straight sets victory.
Just after Gormley handed the Lions a 3-0 lead, momentum quickly swung in favor of the St. Bonaventure. The Bonnies shaved the score to 3-2 with a pair of victories. Mochizuki downed St-Maurice in straight sets (6-4, 6-1) to set the score at 3-1.
St. Bonaventure's Enric Larregola rallied from a 5-0 deficit in the No. 6 match against sophomore David Bortner (State College, Pa.). Larregola edged Bortner in a first-set tiebreaker. He then cruised to a 6-1 victory in the second set, which set the overall score at 3-2.
Nevertheless, freshman Jamie Cox (Acworth, Ga.) clinched the match for the Nittany Lions with a three-set victory over Post at the No. 4 spot. Cox notched the first (6-3), but lost a tight second-set tiebreaker (7-6 (4)). However, the Lion freshman ousted Post in third by a score of 6-3 to clinch the match for the Nittany Lions.
With the match decided, Valdenegro defeated Sherman in three sets at No. 5. Sherman and Valdenegro split the first two sets, which both resulted in tiebreakers. Valdenegro gave the Bonnies their third point with a 6-2 victory in the third set.
Penn State will next head out on the road for a pair of tough Big Ten matches. The Lions will take on 16th-ranked Illinois in Champaign on April 5 at noon. Penn State will then head to West Lafayette for a noon match against the 66th-ranked Purdue Boilermakers on April 6.
Final Score: #51 Penn State 4, St. Bonaventure 3