April 1, 2012
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.; -
The Penn State men's tennis team (11-7, 1-4) faced another strong test Sunday afternoon as they welcomed the No. 70 Nebraska Cornhuskers (8-9, 1-3) to the Sarni Tennis Center. Coming off of their first Big Ten victory in two seasons Friday evening against Iowa, the Nittany Lions were attempting to extend their win streak to two with comeback to remember against the visiting Huskers.
"We really made it interesting today," said head coach Jeff Zinn. "We just need to get everybody going at the same time and we can be very dangerous. We especially need to get our doubles teams going."
Penn State started slowly again in doubles play, dropping all three matches to the Huskers. Junior C.J. Griffin (Portland, Mich.) and sophomore Russell Bader (Austin, Texas) started the frame in second doubles, falling to Robert Schulze and Andre Stenger, 8-2. Red-shirt junior Christopher Hasyn (Lansdale, Pa.) and freshman Tomas Hanzlik (Prague, Czech Republic) then fell to Eric Sock and Stefan Gollner on court three, 8-4, to clinch the point for Nebraska. Finally, after falling behind 7-2, senior Taylor Cohen (Philadelphia, Pa.) and junior Bryan Welnetz (Laredo, Texas) attempted a furious comeback. Their momentum stalled out though as No. 19 Christopher Aumeller and Benedikt Lindheim finished off their No. 1 doubles victory, 8-4.
After getting down early, the Lions turned to their senior co-captain, Cohen, to right the ship. Cohen breezed through Stenger on court three, 6-3, 6-3, in a match that was not as close as the score would indicate for his team-leading 13th victory of the season. Nebraska answered quickly though, going up 3-1 after Hasyn fell to Tom Blackwell in sixth singles, 6-2, 6-3, and sophomore Chris Young (Melbourne, Australia) dropped his No. 5 bout to Gollner, 6-4, 6-2.
From there, the comeback was on and the match's intensity rose from a simmer to full on boil. Following a quick first set victory (6-2), Welnetz found himself trailing 3-2 to Schulze in the second set. The Texan continued battling though, not allowing the Nittany Lions to go quietly. He worked his way back to a four games apiece tie before finally breaking through and putting Schulze away, 6-4, giving the Lions a second point that they desperately needed.
The win set up a frantic finish, which saw Hanzlik and Bader each head to decisive third sets. On court one, Hanzlik began his bout against No. 79 Aumeller slowly. The freshman was trailing ,4-3, before he caught fire. He ripped off three straight games and clinched the first set, 6-4. Aumeller then took the second set, 6-3, but Hanzlik would not be denied. The Lions' ace worked Aumeller in a third and decisive set, taking him down, 6-0, to set up Bader with an opportunity to seal back-to-back Big Ten victories for Penn State.
Bader played No. 95 Lindheim very evenly throughout the entirety of their second singles contest. With the score five games to four in the first set, Bader and Lindheim skirmished feverishly before Bader misfired on a return, giving Lindheim a 6-4 set victory. Bader answered the call in his second set, gaining a 7-5 win and pushing the match to a third set which would decide the match. The Texan jumped out to a 4-2 lead in the decisive set, but Lindheim did not go quietly. After allowing Lindheim to tie the match at 4-4, Bader forged ahead 5-4 on a difficult forehand return that Lindheim could not reach. From there, Lindheim rallied to pull off three straight games, concluding the match and squashing the Nittany Lions comeback bid.
Penn State will return to action Friday, April 6 when they travel to Minnesota to take on the Golden Gophers at 3 p.m. ET. Get up to the minute updates on your Nittany Lions on Facebook: Penn State Men's Tennis and Twitter: @PSUMensTennis.
- Hanzlik earned his first career win against a ranked opponent with a 6-4, 3-6, 6-0 victory over No. 79 Christopher Aumeller.
- This was the first ever match between the two Big Ten foes. Nebraska now leads the series 1-0.
- Senior Jason Lee (Melbourne, Australia) was scratched due to injury for the fourth consecutive match today.
Final Score: #70 Nebraska 4, Penn State 3
1.#19 Christopher Aumeller/Benedikt Lindheim (NEB) def. Taylor Cohen/Bryan Welnetz (PSU), 8-4
2. Robert Schulze/Andre Stenger (NEB) def. C.J Griffin/Russell Bader (PSU), 8-2
3. Eric Sock/Stefan Gollner (NEB) def. Christopher Hasyn/Tomas Hanzlik (PSU), 8-4
Order of Finish: 2, 3, 1
1. Tomas Hanzlik (PSU) def. #79 Christopher Aumeller (NEB), 6-4, 3-6, 6-0
2. #95 Benedikt Lindheim (NEB) def. Russell Bader (PSU), 6-4, 5-7, 7-5
3. Taylor Cohen (PSU) def. Andre Stenger (NEB), 6-3, 6-3
4. Bryan Welnetz (PSU) def. Robert Schulze (NEB), 6-2, 6-4
5. Stefan Gollner (NEB) def. Chris Young (PSU), 6-4, 6-2
6. Tom Blackwell (NEB) def. Christopher Hasyn (PSU), 6-2, 6-3
Order of Finish: 3, 6, 5, 4, 1, 2