Men's Tennis Loses to Northwestern, 4-3
April 3, 2011
EVANSTON, ILL. - The Penn State men's tennis team (10-11, 0-4) dropped its second consecutive nailbiter in Big Ten play, falling to Northwestern Sunday afternoon, 4-3. Freshman Russell Bader (Austin, Texas) had a strong performance in fourth singles, earning his team leading 19th singles victory of the season.
The Nittany Lions started slowly again, dropping all three doubles matches to the Wildcats. Juniors Jason Lee (Sydney, Australia) and Christopher Hasyn (Lansdale, Pa.) could not gain any traction against Andrew McCarthy and Tobias Reitz in second doubles, dropping the match, 8-2. Senior Eddie Bourchier (Hobart, Australia) and Bader then fell behind early in first doubles action against Joshua Graves and Spencer Wolf. The duo rebounded but could not overcome Northwestern's talented pairing, losing, 8-6. The victory sealed the first point of the match for the Wildcats. Once the point had been awarded, sophomore Bryan Welnetz (Laredo, Texas) and freshman Chris Young (Melbourne, Australia) dropped the third doubles decision, 8-7 (3).
After falling behind early, Young quickly fell to Chris Jackman to start singles play, dropping the No. 6 battle, 6-1, 6-1. Trailing 2-0, Bader would not allow the Nittany Lions to go down without a fight, taking down Reitz in fourth singles (6-4, 6-4).
Lee then continued the comeback attempt for Penn State in his second singles match. The Aussie outmatched Wolf from the start, taking the first set, 6-3. Lee then battled through a tough second set to win the decision (6-3, 6-4) and tie the match at 2-2.
Northwestern would not be denied though, as they righted the ship in fifth singles. Hasyn fell in a hard-fought first set, 7-6, before dropping the second set, 6-4. The win gave the Wildcats a 3-2 lead.
With their backs against the wall, the Nittany Lions needed to win the next two matches to earn their first Big Ten victory of the season. Welnetz became the key to the match in his third singles skirmish against Sidarth Balaji. Balaji took the first set, 6-3. But then Welnetz rebounded in the second set (6-3) to even the score at one set a piece. That set up the eventual match clinching third set for Northwestern. Welnetz pushed Balaji to the brink before falling in a tiebreaker (7-6) and sealing the match for the Wildcats.
Finally, after the match had been decided, Bourchier rebounded in first singles to defeat Graves (5-7, 6-4, 6-4) and give the Nittany Lions a third point in the match.
Northwestern 4, Penn State 3
1. Joshua Graves/Spencer Wolf (NW) def. Eddie Bourchier/Russell Bader (PSU), 8-6
1. Eddie Bourchier (PSU) def. Joshua Graves (NW), 5-7, 6-4, 6-4
The Nittany Lions will return home next weekend to continue Big Ten play against Michigan on Friday, April 8 at 3 p.m. and will face off against the Michigan State Spartans Sunday, April 10 at noon. Admission is free to both matches.